Greetings! My name is Christopher DeWeese. I am a poet, an Associate Professor of English at Wright State University, and a proud AAUP member here.
You may have heard about how last month, over 300 members of our union went on strike for 20 days after the WSU administration imposed a horrible contract on us, a contract that would have undermined the educational mission of our university. Our strike was the second longest strike in US higher ed history, and we were out on the lines through the coldest part of the winter here in Ohio. It was a hard-fought battle, and we won a much better contract than the one that had been imposed (maintaining current workload, retrenchment language, and continuing appointments for Non Tenure-Track faculty) but this came at a cost: each member who was on strike is now out 7.2% of their annual salary, as the Wright State admin refused to grant us back pay for days missed on strike.
I'm writing to you today in the hopes that you might spread the word among your colleagues and your union chapter that we have launched a gofundme in order to help our members recoup some of their missing salary. As our AAUP chapter represents NTT faculty in addition to TT, many of our members who are the most precarious are in extremely difficult financial situations. Any help that you or your colleagues can provide would be much appreciated- every little bit helps!
Here is a link to the fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/aaupwsu-strike-fund
If you would like to read more about our strike, here is a good interview in Jacobin with our strike leader, Professor of History Noeleen McIlvenna: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/02/wright-state-university-strike-noeleen-mcilvenna and here's another interview with a member of our EC, Sirisha Naidu: http://socialistworker.org/2019/01/30/striking-for-the-soul-of-the-university. Finally, here's a piece from the Chronicle: https://www.chronicle.com/article/Now-Comes-the-Hard-Part-/245668
Thank you for considering passing this message along.