submitted by Wright State
(1-24-19) Wright State University today requested the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) to declare the ongoing AAUP-WSU strike unauthorized under Ohio law.
The university, in a detailed filing with SERB, presented evidence that the AAUP-WSU is striking for a reason prohibited by state law. The filing also states the AAUP-WSU’s strike is unauthorized because its executive committee specifically instructed all members in writing to “confound” the university’s efforts to continue operating and providing courses during a strike. A SERB ruling in favor of the university would require the AAUP-WSU to immediately cease and desist all strike activity.
Specifically, the university presented the following evidence:
The AAUP-WSU’s strike is unauthorized because it is striking in significant part over the university removing faculty workload provisions and agreements from the labor contract. The university did so because faculty workload is a prohibited subject of bargaining. The General Assembly disallows even the act of collective bargaining over faculty workload – much less the act of a public-sector strike over faculty workload. The AAUP-WSU cannot maintain a public-sector strike to force the university to negotiate a faculty workload agreement.
The AAUP-WSU intentionally sabotaged the university’s planning to find replacement instructors and to continue operating and providing courses during a strike. On Jan. 10, the AAUP-WSU executive committee sent an email to all members instructing them to inform the university that they did not intend to participate in the strike, regardless of whether this was true. The AAUP-WSU sought to mislead the university about which employees planned to report to work to sabotage its efforts to find replacement workers and keep offering courses during the strike.
The AAUP instructed its members to remove the syllabus and other course information from the Pilot instructional system to make it difficult for the university to offer courses during the strike without disruption. This presented a challenge because the Pilot system is an electronic portal and database where the replacement instructors and students would have access to the necessary course materials so that the courses could continue during the strike.
Separately, the university announced that on the third day of the AAUP-WSU strike, more bargaining unit faculty members are asking to be granted access to their university email accounts and online course information in preparation to return to their students and classes.
Based on confirmed classroom data documented at the department level as well as centrally across both the Dayton and Lake Campuses; 44 percent of AAUP-WSU faculty members are teaching their classes and are not participating in the strike. The university notes the university remains open for business for both students and any faculty who choose to return to the classroom.
Wright State is aware that some academic areas are affected more than others and the university is working as quickly as possible to mitigate further disruptions.
Students should continue to attend class in accordance with their regular class schedule or complete class assignments as directed. Students will receive an email to their wright.edu address if there is a change to their class schedule.