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Wright State faculty union concerned about furlough talk

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 3:38 PM


            Dozens of members of Wright State University’s faculty union showed up for a board of trustees meeting at the school’s Lake Campus on Friday. The union and administration are locked into an heated, ongoing contract negotiations.
            Max Filby/ STAFF
Dozens of members of Wright State University’s faculty union showed up for a board of trustees meeting at the school’s Lake Campus on Friday. The union and administration are locked into an heated, ongoing contract negotiations.(Max Filby/ STAFF)

Members of Wright State University’s faculty union turned out in droves to a board of trustees meeting Friday even though it took place 75 minutes north of Dayton at the school’s Lake Campus.

The Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors has been locked into sometimes tense contract negotiations with the school’s administration over the last year. The tension appeared to escalate this week after the university announced on Wednesday that it would consider employee furloughs if finances don’t improve.

RELATED: Wright State considering employee furloughs if finances don’t improve

“I think they are worried about that… They’re concerned about the management of their university. It hasn’t been just one thing but a package of things over the last few years,” said John McNay, a history professor at the University of Cincinnati and president of the AAUP’s Ohio conference.

McNay said he drove up to Celina to show support for Wright State’s faculty union as did a leader from Bowling Green State University’s faculty union.

Furloughs are not imminent, administrators insist, but rather a backup plan if for some reason Wright Sate is unable to stick to its fiscal year 2018 budget. WSU slashed $30.8 million from its budget in June in an attempt to begin correcting years of overspending.

The school is also trying to boost its reserve fund by $6 million this year but must carve out another $10.5 million from its budget because of low enrollment issues and unexpected scholarship and fellowship costs. WSU officials have said they plan to make up the difference through savings in summer classes and operations, “discretionary spending” and leaving positions vacant.

RELATED: Wright State makes a list that’s good news for area military families

In a brief speech, AAUP-WSU treasurer Tom Rooney reminded board members of their responsibility to make sure Wright State continues its long-term commitment of offering a quality college education despite shorter-term budget problems. He received a standing ovation from the crowd of AAUP-WSU members.

“Boards will come and go but as long as the university continues to have students you’re going to have a faculty that ‘s going to continue fight and ensure that they’re getting the best education possible,” Rooney said.

Contract negotiations originally stalled in March amid the university’s budget issues and the abrupt resignation of former president David Hopkins. AAUP-WSU president Martin Kich said on Wednesday that the drafting of a furlough policy could be a counter-move by the administration after the union created a formal strike procedure in November.

The union’s contract expired in June but it remains in effect until a fact-finder’s report is issued. Fact-finding is scheduled for late January.

RELATED: Wright State faculty union: Cutting jobs not the ‘fix WSU needs’

Doug Fecher, WSU board chairman said in October that the university was seeking some flexibility in negotiations. But, that comment troubled faculty members who feared that “flexibility” meant the school wants to make it easier to lay off faculty and eliminate academic programs.

“I can’t help but think about the word flexibility which is a word I used to described a component of future success. Somehow this word has become a loaded term at Wright State when indeed the board’s intent is for it to mean just what it says,” Fecher said. “So, I’d like to recommend a compromise (that) we begin using the word nimble in our conversation as a way of describing the university’s capabilities to adjust when conditions change.”

Continuing coverage

Turn to the Dayton Daily News for the most in-depth and up-to-date coverage of Wright State University’s budget problems —work made possible by your subscription.

By the numbers

$30.8 million: Amount Wright State slashed its budget by in June.

$6 million: Amount Wright State aims to boost reserves by this year.

584: Number of faculty members represented by WSU-AAUP.

824: Number of full-time faculty members at Wright State.

Shooter who killed man during sex act to be sentenced

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:15 PM

UPDATE @ 7:49 a.m. (Jan. 23):

Sentencing is scheduled Tuesday for the man convicted of killing a man while a teen performed a sex act on the victim.

Michael J. Wood Jr, 19, is set for sentencing at 9:30 a.m.

Wood killed Elroy Facey on Hoover Avenue in May 2017.

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INITIAL REPORT (Jan. 18):

The man accused of shooting a 41-year-old man, ultimately leading to his death, was convicted of murder and felonious assault.

Michael J. Wood Jr., 19, of Dayton, shot and killed Elroy Facey on Hoover Avenue on May 3, 2017, according to prosecutors.

“The victim attempted to run away, but the adult defendant chased the victim and shot him a second time,” the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office said in a prepared statement.

Elexus Dawkins, 17, was convicted of murder in October 2017 and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for her role in the shooting.

Wood and Dawkins planned to rob Facey, prosecutors said.

Dawkins was in a vehicle performing a sex act on Facey when Wood shot him, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Sentencing for Wood is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m.

Rough winter brings potholes ‘worse than normal’ to Miami Valley

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:11 AM

Local officials say potholes are worse this year than the past two winters. A Dayton crew patches a pothole on Gettysburg Ave. MARSHALL GORBY
Local officials say potholes are worse this year than the past two winters. A Dayton crew patches a pothole on Gettysburg Ave. MARSHALL GORBY

The worst winter weather in recent years also has spawned the worst potholes on area roads in some time.

“Some counties are saying the potholes are worse this year,” said Ohio Department of Transportation public information officer Mandi Dillon in a statement.

Fred Stovall, director of Dayton public works, said there are more potholes than the past two winters. Those previous winters were milder and resulted in much fewer potholes, he said.

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“We’ve seen colder temperatures, freezing temperatures, snow and salt in the street. That all gets in the cracks and makes (conditions for potholes) worse,” Stovall said.

Potholes cost American drivers about $3 billion a year in vehicle repairs, or $15 billion over the last five years, a AAA study revealed, according to AAA spokeswoman Kara Hitchens.

The cost to repair a vehicle can vary because of tire size and the extent of the damage. Jason Brown, store manager at AAA Auto and Tire store in Huber Heights, said replacing a tire can cost anywhere from $80 to $250. And replacing an entire wheel can cost more than $200.

“Today alone, I’ve seen five people come in with damage from potholes,” Brown said. “They’re everywhere.”

Riverside City Manager Mark Carpenter said his city has also seen an increase in potholes this winter.

“The potholes are worse than normal, over the top this year,” he said.

TRENDING: Board to rule on Dayton police sergeant accused of lying

Potholes form when water soaks into the pavement, then freezes and expands as temperatures change, according to ODOT press secretary Matt Bruning.

Bruning said ODOT has spent $726,000 on patching potholes statewide so far this year, most of it in recent days. The vast majority of that number is labor costs.

“This season ODOT crews have spent 21,669 hours— the equivalent of two and a half years— just patching potholes,” Bruning said.

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ODOT already this year has used the second highest amount of salt that it has used in the past 10 years, Bruning said. This is usually an indication of how bad the winter is, Bruning said.

“Kudos to our men and women on the roads. They are definitely earning that money they make,” Bruning said of the ODOT crews patching potholes and clearing snow and ice this season.

Local crews are also working every day to patch potholes. Stovall said that the city has 48 hours or two business days, not including weekends, to patch potholes after they are reported.

“This is certainly filling our time. And we haven’t even gotten to the residential streets yet,” Riverside’s Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the city appreciates citizens calling and alerting the service department to potholes in the area.

Stovall agreed, urging Daytonians to call (937) 333-4800 or use Dayton’s smartphone app to report potholes.

Drivers can report potholes to ODOT via an online form or if the pothole needs immediate attention, by alerting the highway patrol.

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Bruning also stressed that ODOT crews prioritize potholes in high traffic areas, like interstate 75 over residential roads.

“Just like when we’re clearing snow and ice, we try and make sure the main roadways get taken care of first, and I think most folks understand that,” Bruning said.

Board to rule on Dayton police sergeant accused of lying

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:27 AM

A city of Dayton board that is reviewing the firing of a female police sergeant accused of lying and falsifying official documents is expected to release its decision soon.

EARLIER: Dayton police sergeant who sued for discrimination is fired

Dayton police Sgt. Tonina Lamanna challenged her termination with the Civil Service Board, claiming it was in retaliation for her filing a federal lawsuit alleging the city and police department engaged in sexual discrimination. 

Lamanna did not knowingly make false statements, said her attorney Vince Pop, but the city was desperate to fire her. 

Dayton police officials claim Lamanna lied multiple times, which they say is unacceptable from a sworn police officer and requires discharge. 

“Dishonesty is incompatible with public trust,” said Mark Ecton, a Dayton assistant police chief, at Lamanna’s civil service hearing. 

MORE: Learn how the chief’s stolen gun is connected to this case

Last month, the Civil Service Board heard testimony from a variety of witnesses from the police and human resources departments about the circumstances that preceded and resulted in Lamanna’s firing on Oct. 3.

Employers to recruit at Springfield job fair

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 8:05 AM


            FILE
FILE

Local employers like CareSource and Assurant will be recruiting in Springfield this Friday.

CareSource Life Services is holding a job fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Faith United Methodist Church at 102 W. High St.

RELATED: Dayton Children’s plans career fair

Life coaching, job readiness training and resume support will be available.

Some of the employers who will be there include:

Assurant

CareSource

Interim Healthcare

Mama Rosa’s

Ohio State Highway Patrol

RTA

Vocalink

I-Supply

The Greentree Group

Klosterman Bakery

Securitas