Wright State campus | Photograph by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian
On Wednesday, March 31, Wright State University’s (WSU) Teamsters Local 957 voted 39-29 in favor of changes to contract language found in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Teamsters union and WSU.
In total, 21 articles throughout the CBA between the Teamsters and WSU have undergone contractual language changes with a brand new article being added as well.
Articles most notably receiving contractual language changes include union representation, miscellaneous, probation, hours of work, wages, contract duration and a new article that sees WSU withdrawing it’s proposed addition of furlough language.
Prior to the vote passed on March 31, the contract effective date was that of September 1, 2018. The updated CBA will now read August 31, 2022 reflecting a 3-year contract with a 1-year extension.
In regard to contractual language changes involving Teamsters pay, WSU will meet with the union about proposed changes to job titles, pay and/or job duties as well as the plan for training for any different skill set needed. It is also said that no employee shall have their rate of pay reduced as a result of these changes.
The parties also agreed that effective July 1, 2021 all job rates will increase by 2.5%, and the wage structure has been adjusted to reflect 95% of the job rate for the first year of employment with 100% of the job rate to be obtained after the first year of employment is complete.
Previous CBA language showed 90% of the job rate being paid for first year, 95% for second year and 100% for third year and those years following.
Chief Steward for the Teamsters Tom Bellew is thankful for cooperation, but is not fully satisfied.
“Although there were enough members to vote yes to pass this agreement, the idea of the university phasing out jobs is disheartening. Like faculty and staff, we have already been cut to the bone in job losses prior to this agreement. We look forward to new contract talks next year when this agreement ends August 31, 2022,” Bellew said. “We would like to thank the faculty and staff for their support during these negotiations.”
The Teamsters Local 957 is a group of over 30 positions at WSU, with positions such as HVAC staff members, engineers, electricians, groundskeepers and plumbers in their ranks.
WSU and the Teamsters 957 have been proactive in contract negotiations dating back to 2019, at which point the Teamsters found themselves in a similar situation to that of the faculty union, who was at that time involved in a faculty strike.
In December 2019, Bellew said to the Guardian, “We’re going through the same things as the teachers [faculty union].”
Bellew is still the current Chief Steward for the Teamsters.
Throughout Oct. 2020, collective bargaining negotiations between the Teamsters and WSU continued, with the two groups negotiating on CBA articles such as furloughs, subcontracting, wages, overtime, vacations and medical benefits.
During these negotiations late last year, WSU’s Director of Communications Seth Bauguess said, “The university values the work that these employees perform. They provide a valuable service to the university, and most importantly, our students. As the university continues to navigate these challenging times, it is prepared to continue operations as it drives toward fiscal sustainability so Wright State can be the public, four-year university the Dayton region and Ohio needs it to be.”