Wright State Strike: Unfair Labor Practice Investigation Could Take Weeks, Attorney Says
UPDATE Sunday, 4:29 p.m.: The Ohio State Employment Relations Board (SERB) has ruled Wright State's faculty union strike authorized. Investigations into unfair labor practice charges filed by both the union and Wright State's administration remain ongoing.
Wright State University is asking the State Labor Relations Board (SERB) to determine whether the ongoing faculty union strike is unauthorized. Both the union and the university have already filed unfair labor practice charges with SERB, alleging bad faith bargaining, among other things.
In its latest filling Thursday, the administration alleges the union was unclear about its intentions to strike and sabotaged the school’s efforts to operate as usual during the strike. The union has said the charges are without merit.
Veteran labor attorney John Doll says the employment relations board is required to launch an investigation into the charges immediately. But, he says, it will likely be a while before the board completes the investigation.
"I can't see them getting to it any earlier than in a couple of weeks," he says. "I think it'd be more like three or four, but it's possible that could be done a couple of weeks."
Doll says it’s common for parties locked in labor disputes to file unfair labor practice charges, but that many are dismissed once a contract deal is reached.
The first hearing related to the union’s separate unfair labor practice case is scheduled for February 4.
The strike could be over by that time. The longest higher-education related strike last year lasted 11 days.