Wright State asks state board to end strike by declaring it ‘unauthorized’

Senior math lecturer Karen Brackenridge stands atop a frozen snow pile in front of Wright State. Striking members of Wright State Universitys faculty union continued to picket on Thursday, the third day of the strike. Most classes continued to operate with some consolidated, some taught by substitutes, and others taught online. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Caption
Senior math lecturer Karen Brackenridge stands atop a frozen snow pile in front of Wright State. Striking members of Wright State Universitys faculty union continued to picket on Thursday, the third day of the strike. Most classes continued to operate with some consolidated, some taught by substitutes, and others taught online. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Wright State University’s administration has filed another unfair labor practice complaint with the state, seeking to end the faculty strike on the basis that it wasn’t authorized because of the actions of some union members.

In a filing with the State Employment Relations Board, the administration asked the board to declare the strike unauthorized in part because of workload. Workload, the administration claims, is prohibited from being part of collective bargaining, according to WSU.

» RELATED: Wright State strike: What students need to know now

A SERB ruling in favor of the university would require the union to cease all strike activity immediately, according to WSU.

Members of the Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors have been on strike since Tuesday.

“The AAUP-WSU cannot maintain a public-sector strike to force the university to negotiate a faculty workload agreement,” the university said in a prepared statement.

In its complaint, the administration also said the strike should be considered unauthorized because the union’s leaders “intentionally sabotaged” plans to keep classes and operations going during the labor dispute. The union did this by asking members to tell the university they did not intend to strike when they actually did, according to the complaint.

The complaint also accuses unionized faculty of removing course information from an electronic WSU system to make it more difficult for the university to offer courses during the strike.

» RELATED: WSU president tells students to go to class while union is on strike

The administration’s latest complaint is unlikely to have “any credibility,” said Noeleen McIlvenna, a WSU history professor and contract administration officer for the union has said. McIlvenna said union leaders were consulting with the group’s attorney about the complaint but that they were not worried.

“I think it’s highly unlikely to have any merit,” McIlvenna said. “It’s probably just another thing to make people nervous and we’re not terribly nervous. It’s probably a sign that they think we’re winning. The heat on them is pretty heavy now.”

On the third day of the strike, the administration also announced that 44 percent of AAUP-WSU members have crossed the picket line and are teaching their classes. The university continues to deal with issues covering classes but in most cases is consolidating them, moving them online, teaching them with a substitute or assigning alternative material.

“Wright State is aware that some academic areas are affected more than others and the university is working as quickly as possible to mitigate further disruptions,” the university said in a prepared statement.

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