UPDATE: Wright State University's Board of Trustees voted Monday night to approve a new contract with union faculty and end a nearly three week long strike.
The deal approved was actually two-in-one. The university voted to approve two contracts that will run consecutively until June of 2023.
"Well, I think everybody's relieved," said Doug Fecher, Chairman of the Wright State Board of Trustees. "I imagine the faculty are relieved, the board is certainly relieved, I hope the students are relieved."
Fecher credits the involvement of a federal mediator in helping both sides come to a resolution.
"That allowed the parties to speak more frankly than they would over the table and I do think that created a bridge that got us to an agreement finally," he said.
The deal is designed to help the university rebound from its financial issues.
Last year, the university was able to save more than 50 million dollars with various cost cutting measures.
The new agreement will save Wright State another three to four million dollars each year, especially now that union faculty will join a university-wide health plan in April.
"We've taken away one of those uncertainty points with the healthcare costs rising so quickly," said University President Cheryl Schrader. "So we feel much more comfortable now in the long-term that we'll be able to continue to build up our reserves and put the university back on firm financial footing."
But the university is also seeing a decline in revenue because of declining enrollment over the last 5 years.
Their priority now - fix the relationship with the students and faculty they have now while continuing to recruit new ones.
"We just need to put this behind us and deliver on the promise that we made to our students, which is a world class education with world class faculty members and world class research and I think we'll be able to pull together and do that," Fecher said. "We need to be very purposeful and intentional in how we repair that relationship. If we just sign this document and move forward, we will lose an opportunity."
FAIRBORN, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The Wright State University Board of Trustees has unanimously passed a new deal that was reached with the faculty union.
Members of AAUP-WSU had been on strike for about 3 weeks when the two reached an agreement with the help of a federal mediator Sunday night.
The Board met in executive session to discuss the collective bargaining, and then a motion to approve the new deal was passed after negotiations that lasted all weekend.
Wright State University President Cheryl Schrader said both parties made substantial concessions.
Faculty union president Marty Kich said members are happy to be going back to the classroom. A representative for the AAUP-WSU faculty union, Dr. Noeleen McIlvenna, tells ABC 22/FOX 45 the terms of the deal with the university include administration acknowledging the union's right to bargain over healthcare, restored workload agreement and their right to teach during the summer. Dr. McIlvenna said the union gave financial concessions and will pay more for health insurance and will have no raises between now and 2022.
The university said on Monday that students should still go to class in accordance with their current schedule, and those who altered their classes should get an email from their department chair about how to move forward. Students who dropped a class last week will be able to re-register for that class with permission from the chair through the end of the week with no late fees applied. Beginning on Monday normal operations and academic calendar will pick back up, and officials will accept all grades and work done by students during the strike.
Officials also said that since the first day of the spring semester, 405 students have withdrawn from Wright State and 494 new students have enrolled.