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Sun Jan 20, 2019, 07:12 AM

Wright State University faculty in Dayton, Ohio to strike Tuesday

Faculty at Wright State University (WSU), which serves about 18,000 students, are scheduled to strike next Tuesday, the start of the second week of classes. The university is located in the southwest Ohio city of Dayton, which has been ravaged by deindustrialization, having lost 3,500 manufacturing businesses and tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs since 2001.

The walkout follows a January 4 decision by the WSU board of trustees to impose an all-out austerity contract on WSU faculty. The measures being demanded by the administration would not only undermine the quality of public education at Wright State but set a terrible regressive precedent in the evisceration of higher education nationally.

WSU faculty have been working without a contract since June 2017. In early November 2018, a fact-finder issued a report echoing the administrationís claim that dire fiscal circumstances compelled them to inflict deep cuts on faculty pay and benefits. The American Association of University Professors chapter at Wright State University (AAUP-WSU), whose bargaining unit includes 564 of the universityís 1,700 faculty, overwhelmingly rejected this provocation. Now the university has refused to bargain.

Instead, the university has imposed a deal which calls for a total pay freeze over the course of the three-year contract, a de facto pay cut. The administration also plans to increase healthcare premium co-pays between 45 percent or 80 percent, depending on the plan. Yearly deductibles will also increase from $500 to $1,600, with out-of-pocket maximums jumping from 50 percent to 128 percent. The university has already imposed these drastic measures on university support staff.

Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/01/19/wrig-j19.html

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