YSU Trustees hopeful for resolution of contracts with faculty and classified staff unions

Youngstown State University

The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees remains optimistic that new contracts with unions representing faculty and classified employees can be resolved in a fair and equitable manner and without disruption to university operations.

“While there remains significant work to be done to come to a resolution, we believe all sides are committed to working together to develop contracts that are acceptable to everyone in these difficult and unprecedented times in the university’s history,” said Anita Hackstedde, board chair.

The board met Monday afternoon and voted to reject a Fact Finder’s report for a new three-year contract for the faculty. Among the administration’s objections:

  • The report, which recommends a 6 percent pay raise, shows a lack of appreciation and understanding of the extremely difficult and tenuous financial circumstances facing the university and all of higher education. While the pandemic’s impact on the university’s fiscal year budget has not been as severe as initially projected, YSU’s state funding was still cut by $1.4 million and income from tuition and fees fell by nearly $3 million.
  • The report’s recommendations are unclear, ambiguous and confusing and lack any significant analysis or explanation, leaving the board no choice but to reject it. The lack of any analysis of multiple unresolved issues is particularly disappointing considering the time both parties engaged in explaining the issues as well as the cost of the report by the Fact Finder.

“While we disagree with our faculty colleagues on the report, we do believe there is plenty of room for compromise and agreement,” Hackstedde said. “The union leadership has expressed belief that we can work out differences in the report, and we agree.”

Also at the meeting, the board expressed optimism about continuing contract talks with the university’s classified staff workers, noting in particular the union leadership’s responsible working relationship with the university.

YSU President Jim Tressel added, “I want students to know that the university administration, our faculty and our staff are committed to ensuring a successful and uninterrupted completion of the Fall semester.”