FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – Wright State’s faculty union has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against the university with Ohio’s State Employment Relations Board (SERB).
“We filed our ULP in large part because the administration did not negotiate with us at all after our members overwhelmingly rejected the fact-finding report in early November,” said Dr. Marty Kich, President of the AAUP-WSU. “The administration’s so-called ‘last, best offer’ was never offered to us at all. In fact, we read about it in the press before being informed by the administration.”
In a release, officials say that the specific charges pertain to Ohio Revised Code 4117.11(A), which states that it is an unfair labor practice for the employer to “interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees…” in their rights under ORC 4117, according to part (1) of this section of ORC; and to “refuse to bargain collectively with the representative of his employees…” according to part (5).
The Chief Negotiator for AAUP-WSU and President of the national AAUP stated:
“After our members rejected the fact-finding report, to prepare for the negotiations we wanted and expected, we asked the administration for information about health care expenditures. This is an area of significant expense for every employer and one of the areas in which we were prepared to offer concessions. But despite our request and two follow-ups, we have received only a tiny fragment of the information we needed. The only reasonable conclusion is that the administration and Board of Trustees continue to have no wish to negotiate with us at all; they want to impose a punitive contract on our faculty, despite the harm that will ensue for our students, the University’s reputation, and the value of a Wright State degree.”
Wright State University issued a statement in response to the situation, saying in part, “We are disappointed the AAUP-WSU, which represents 560 of our more than 1,700 faculty members has resorted to these aggressive and non-productive actions. The university has negotiated in good faith for nearly two years. We have done everything in our power to avoid a strike, and provide our students with a high quality education. Last week’s board of trustees action was not a negotiating tactic. It was the implementation of our last and best terms of employment.”
They go on to say that the employment terms they offered keep faculty salaries higher than comparable universities and provide faculty with access to high-quality comprehensive healthcare coverage. Additionally, they state that the offer maintains current retrenchment and layoff procedures to ease any faculty concerns and also work with the Faculty Senate on a workload policy, saying that in light of the university’s well-publicized financial challenges, it is the very best they can do.
“The University has conducted itself in complete accordance with the pertinent statues governing labor relations in the State of Ohio and does not believe that it has engaged in any unfair labor practices. We think the ULP filings are tactical and not legitimate concerns in any way,” they state.
Read the documented Unfair Labor Practice charge and a related motion to expedite SERB’s investigation below: