Wright State teachers union protest at university board of trustee meeting
FAIRBORN, Ohio (WRGT/WKEF) -A strike deadline has come and gone for Wright State University's faculty. The union has been without a contract for more than a year and had a strike date of October first.
Now there's a new strike deadline as union members protest at a board meeting. It was a regular trustee board meeting Friday where they spoke about Wright State's finances.
Faculty members showed up because they said they're not getting face to face time with board members.
"It's become clear that Wright State University has turned a corner on its financial challenges and we are no longer facing fiscal watch," said Wright State University President Cheryl Schrader.
That's the good news coming from Wright State today at its board of trustee meeting. Trustees also announced they sold two buildings for $1 million each, one in downtown Dayton another in Kettering. The faculty's union though isn't impressed.
"Under the able leadership of the board of trustees and central administration, we lost over $100 million in reserves. Lost, funny word isn't it?" said one speaker.
American Association of University Professor (AAUP) members were at the meeting showing their frustration with the trustees. They blamed the board for the school's financial crisis which led to program and job cuts.
"We have lost some very very good people," said another speaker.
Members also upset they've been without a contract since June 2017.
"You could end this today and you should because you will not win the fight you picked with us," said AAUP local spokesperson Noleen McIlvanna.
Sticking points included when professors can be fired or laid off, how many classes they have to teach and healthcare.
"My fear is overarching, we won't be able to provide the quality to our students because of these distractions," said Wright State Alumnus and Teacher Ryan Rebecca Taylor.
Several Dayton office holders were showing support for the faculty union "We have tons of Wright State grads who work for the city, plenty more who live in the city and I thought it was important to make sure I was here to support the faculty and their effort," said Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph.
"This is such an important institution to our region, to our city to our county so this deal needs to happen," said Dayton Board of Education Vice President John McManua.
Both sides are still waiting for the independent fact finders report. It was supposed to be last month now it's expected on October 29th.
If the faculty decides to strike after that, it won't be until November 19th.