Wright State University’s faculty union has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money. Organizers say any donations raised during the fundraising campaign will reimburse union members for pay they lost during Wright State’s recent strike. The so-called AAUP-WSU Strike Fund has a goal of raising $500,000.
A welcome message on the GoFundMe page says donations could help struggling some union members make ends meet.
History professor and union organizer Noeleen McIlvenna says the union is hoping its campaign will attract national support, especially, she says, among others in the education and labor communities.
“People across the country are following the story and were rooting for us to keep going and to hold the line. And so we're hoping that they can pitch in a little bit and that it will all add up and we can at least make a dent in the hole,” she says.
The faculty walkout lasted 20 days, amounting to what organizers say is a significant loss in annual take-home salary.
The Wright State administration says striking faculty won’t be paid for any time they didn’t work.
At a Board of Trustees meeting last week, board chair Doug Fecher called for healing.
“Now's the time for the university to come together to put the past behind us and start working together as one university on enrollment," he said, "because that is what will determine the future of this, and frankly every other, university.”
Wright State is working on building back up its reserve fund after overspending over the last few years.
The latest financial projections show the university is expected to add at least $1 million to its reserve fund this year.
Key to this effort, Fecher says, is boosting enrollment, which he says is critical to helping Wright State make up more than $2 million in tuition revenue declines.
Faculty union members have yet to vote to ratify the contract agreement reached with Wright State’s administration three weeks ago.