Wright State University Releas
(2-2-19) The Wright State University Board of Trustees, on Friday, Feb. 1, offered new proposed contract terms for bargaining unit faculty members represented by AAUP-WSU. The proposal is a product of ongoing negotiations between the university and union leadership. Trustees listened to AAUP executive team members at recent meetings, examined every area of concern as stated by union leadership and moderated the university’s position where possible.
The proposed contract represents a series of two consecutive labor contracts that would provide labor peace through June 2023. This proposed contract remains on the table.
Trustees have scheduled a meeting for Sunday, Feb 3, at 3 p.m., where they expect to vote on the terms. Trustees ask the AAUP-WSU negotiating team to put the contract offer to a vote among the full faculty union membership too. If both the trustees and the union approve the contract, it would be immediately implemented and remain for the next five years.
The new proposed contract has significant concessions to union demands but also allows the university to continue on a path to financial recovery and sustainability.
In the offer, terms for retrenchment (or layoffs), workload and merit pay would revert back to 2014 contract terms. Pay raises were also offered in the last two years of the proposed contract. Promotional increases would continue to be awarded each year.
These concessions are possible if the AAUP-WSU Executive Committee agrees to let its members join the university’s existing health care plan. This plan provides high-quality health care benefits. It is the current plan for everyone at the university, including non-union faculty and all other union employees. The trustees are unanimous of their support of the university moving forward with the existing university health plan.
The university estimated it would save millions of dollars annually by moving forward with all employees under the existing health care plan, instead of maintaining two separate plans where one of them is financially unsustainable.
The proposed contract offered the following terms:
- Adjusts the former contract language sought by the union for retrenchment or layoffs.
- Adjusts the former contract language sought by the union for faculty workload.
- Limits bargaining unit furlough days to only one per semester.
- Brings all employees under the university’s existing health care plan.
- Provides two years of pay raises sought by the union for all bargaining unit faculty members during the final two years of the proposed contract.
- Maintains the union’s desired former contract language for summer teaching rotations, while including new language detailing a reduction in summer teaching compensation to help the university in its cost savings needs.
- Maintains the union’s desired former contract language for merit pay and adds a promise of a merit pay pool in the last year of the proposed contract.
- Agrees to meet the union’s concerns on continuing appointments for non-tenure eligible faculty members by only increasing the length of time until promotion to seven years with no requirements for an advanced title. Also, this extra year only applies to faculty hired after the agreement is in place.
- Increases minimum salaries commensurate with the pay increase pool provided in the last two years of the contract.
- Incorporates a new retirement incentive plan to be formally included as a part of the contract.
The university offered to reinstate benefits with no gap in coverage or additional fees for striking faculty. However, the university will not restore lost pay for the time period that individual faculty members were on strike.