05/26/20 UpdaTe!! - WSU Serious Financial Distress

Dear Colleagues:

During contract negotiations in 2012, we agreed to a provision that we did not foresee ever being invoked. In order to get the unusual ten-year contract agreed upon, with an annual salary increase of 2.5% each year, we accepted language that stated that, if the University fell on very hard economic times, the Board of Governors could declare that a situation of “severe financial distress” exists, and suspend salary raises for the following academic year. (Article XI.B.4, pp.23-24)

The Administration is contemplating asking the Board to declare that a situation of “severe financial distress” presently exists for the University. If the BOG responds favorably and acts under this provision, the Union can appeal the decision to arbitration. In the arbitration, the Administration must provide all relevant financial information in a process overseen by the arbitrator. After a hearing before the arbitrator, both sides submit briefs summarizing their arguments and within thirty days after, that the arbitrator must render a decision to both parties. The arbitrator cannot decide to award a salary increase amount below zero percent or higher than 2.5%. There are a number of other provisions, but the description here lays out the basic process.

The attached memorandum was sent to the Academic Senate Budget Committee members prior to its May 26, 2020 meeting. Copies were also sent to the members of the Board of Governors and President M. Roy Wilson. This copy is being provided to all members of the Faculty and Academic Staff to inform you of the first steps being taken to represent you in this process. You can be assured that the Union will bend every effort to defend your right to the raise that you richly deserve.

In solidarity,

Charlie Parrish

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Charles J. ParrishPresident, AAUP-AFT, Local 6075, WSU ChapterVice President-at-Large, AFT MichiganPresident, AAUP Michigan ConferenceMember-at-Large, National Council, AAUP5057 Woodward Avenue, Suite 3301Detroit, MI 48202313.577.1750