Wright State board to discuss faculty contract in private as strike continues

Wright State University’s board of trustees will meet in private Friday to discuss collective bargaining at the end of what would be the first week of a faculty union strike.

The WSU board will meet in executive session at 2 p.m. Friday in the Wright Brothers Room of the student union. Collective bargaining is the sole item listed on the agenda for the meeting.

» RELATED: Wright State faculty strike starts, causes classroom confusion

During the meeting, the board will receive an update from president Cheryl Schrader and the administration’s negotiating team on where things stand, said board chairman Doug Fecher.

“It’s not a bad sign,” Fecher said of the meeting. “It’s for us to basically assess where we’re at and what we need to do to get this resolved.”

» PHOTOS: Scenes from Wright State University campus strike

Members of the Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors have been on strike for three days now. Union members began picketing near the entrances to campus and the Nutter Center on Tuesday.

Classes have continued at the university during the strike, though some have been consolidated, moved online or taught by a substitute. President Cheryl Schrader, an engineer, has also returned to the classroom to teach too courses.

On Tuesday, it came to light that some classes were given “alternate assignments” or dismissed when faculty didn’t show up.

» RELATED: Wright State strike: What students need to know now

Around 43 percent of the 560 members of the Wright State Chapter of the American Association of University Professors have continued teaching during the strike, according to WSU. Classes offered in Wright State’s School of Professional Psychology and the Boonshoft School of Medicine were unaffected by the strike because they have no unionized faculty.

The strike is the union’s response to the WSU board of trustees decision on Jan. 4 to implement the final terms of employment for the union which includes moving faculty union members into a “uniform” health care plan, maintaining current rules of retrenchment, including no pay raises and allowing faculty to be furloughed as part of “cost savings days.” The union has taken issue with the furlough policy, changes to health care, new provisions for promotions and tenure appointment, workload and a merit pay system.

Wright State’s troubled finances have long caused problems for contract talks. The university reduced its spending by around $53 million in fiscal year 2018 in an attempt to begin correcting years of overspending.


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