Wright State teachers strike

By: 
JENNA GILBERT
Staff Writer

On Tuesday morning, faculty at the Wright State University — Lake Campus bundled up as they stood at the entrance to the driveway for the campus with signs as they — along with faculty at the main campus in Dayton — began to strike for a renegotiation of their contracts with the university.
“One of the things that the administration is demanding is total control over faculty workload which means they want the right to dictate the faculty’s classes, to teach more classes,” said Steven Pedler, a professor of history and political science at the Lake Campus. “That’s going to have negative consequences for students because if we have to take on additional classes, that means we’ll all be responsible for more students [and] that means there’s less opportunity for one-on-one instruction than we have right now.”
On Jan. 7, a strike notice was filed by American Association of Union Professors — Wright State University (AAUP — WSU) to the Ohio State Employment Relations Board for the final contract for union employees — voted on Jan. 4 — which moved the faculty to a “uniform” health care plan, maintaining current rules of retrenchment which includes no pay raises for faculty and allowing for them to be furloughed. Many teachers at the Lake Campus worry about the long- and short-term implications this contract will have on them, the students and the university itself.
In fiscal year 2018, Wright State University slashed its spending by about $53 million to take themselves out of years of deficit spending.
In the long-term, Pedler added that spreading teachers so thin will negatively impact the universities rating as they are judged and evaluated on student conditions, quality of faculty scholarship and research.
“And if we’re in a situation where faculty members are forced to take on additional classes, that means time for research and scholarship is going to be cut and over time, that is going to result in erosion of reputations standing in the university, so the degrees that students receive are not going to be worth as much,” he said. “And it’s going to make it harder and harder to attract qualified faculty because if this goes into effect, its going to create working conditions that are pretty much the worst of any public college or university in Ohio and it means that people with options are not really going to look seriously at Wright State as a possible place to come for a career.”

To read the universities comments, as well as comments from students and faculty who aren't striking purchase a copy of Wednesday's leader.

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