In the past two and a half years, staff members at Wright State, who are not unionized, have experienced major budget cuts, changes to their benefits, and several rounds of layoffs. Now, as the faculty union strike enters its second day, the university is relying on them to cover for striking professors.
In an interview last week, Wright State President Cheryl Schrader said university administrators and staff members with master’s degrees would be tapped to teach classes during the faculty strike. Schrader said administrators would not be paid for the extra work.
"For other people, it becomes overload or overwork," said Schrader. "And they have the ability to be paid for that work. They can choose to take that or not."
Schrader, a former electrical engineering professor, has been teaching classes during the walkout.
One staff member who did not want to be identified told WYSO she’s been teaching three classes during the strike on top of her regular job. She says she’s been preparing lesson plans at home after work.
University officials maintain that all classes will continue as scheduled. But social media reports from students indicate at least two classes were cancelled Wednesday.
Other students said some classes Tuesday and Wednesday convened without substitute instructors.