Strike imminent at YSU, source says

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By Amanda Tonoli

and Justin Wier


There’s a 95 percent chance that Youngstown State University’s faculty will strike, a source told The Vindicator.

An Ohio Education Association union meeting Tuesday will reveal updates on negotiations, and there will be a voice vote to give the union the power to authorize a strike.

A strike authorization vote, however, doesn’t mean there will be a strike.

The authorization gives the union the option to call for a 10-day strike notice. Union members would discuss and vote on a strike at a subsequent meeting.

A source told The Vindicator that the union is unlikely to make concessions for the third-consecutive contract.

The administration’s proposed contract did not include increases in minimum salaries and included a 1 percent increase each year, according to an email sent by the union crisis and communications committees and addressed to union members.

The union asked for minimum salaries to be increased by $2,800 with a raise of the rate of inflation plus 2 percent in the first year and the rate of inflation plus 2.5 percent in the following two years.

YSU has the lowest-paid faculty at a public university in Ohio, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The average salary of an assistant professor at a public university in Ohio is $70,000, and YSU’s average is $60,800. The average salary of a full professor at a public university in Ohio is $107,900, and YSU’s average is $88,200.

There’s been a 13 percent decline in inflation-adjusted take-home pay since 2011, the email states.

In that time, faculty members received raises totaling 5 percent, but inflation increased by 9 percent.

Faculty members also have increased their contributions to health care and received cuts in compensation for summer classes, which reduce take-home pay.

The email continued: “Unfortunately, both sides are very far apart on key issues,” and claimed the administration proposed:

Decreased take-home pay.

Removing course-load limits, which could significantly affect workload.

Faculty dismissal without due process.

The fact-finding process is completed, and a report should be issued about Sept. 4.

If one or both of the parties reject the report in the two weeks after it is issued, negotiations can continue and the union is allowed to strike.

Faculty contract negotiations call for a media blackout, YSU officials have said in refusing to comment.

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