Kent State faculty union shows support for possible Wright State strike

Nicholas Hunter

The American Association of University Professors-KSU (AAUP-KSU) union released a letter in support of faculty at Wright State University (WSU), who may begin striking Jan. 22.

After nearly two years of negotiations, AAUP-WSU filed its official strike notice Jan. 6.

The contract dispute is over pay; a fact sheet from the union notes that faculty haven’t been receiving regular raises, and that changes to their health care plan will lead to an overall decrease in income for professors.

AAUP-KSU, which is in the midst of its own contract dispute with Kent State’s administration, said in its letter of support that WSU’s administration is at fault in this dispute because of its “mishandling of resources.”

“It is unfortunate that the administration insists on passing this burden onto the faculty, students, and community members who will also suffer from the breakdown in transparency and trust that is so vital between faculty and administration,” the letter reads.

In a statement after the strike authorization, WSU President Cheryl Schrader said the university is offering the best it can while dealing with financial issues.

“The employment terms are fair in light of our unprecedented financial crisis, and the actions we have taken to respond to the crisis,” Schrader said in the statement. “Under the terms of our last and best offer, our faculty would continue to enjoy higher salaries than their peers at similar state universities. Faculty would also receive the same competitive healthcare benefits provided to all other Wright State employees.”

In an email sent to AAUP-KSU members earlier this week, Melissa Zullo, the chapter’s president, recommended ways to show support for the striking WSU faculty, which included signing a support petition, showing support on social media and joining the WSU picket line when the strike begins.

The email also noted that a trip to the WSU campus is likely to be scheduled for those interested in joining the strike.

Nicholas Hunter is a senior reporter. Contact him at [email protected].