Adjuncts vote to join TAUP

Both full-time faculty and adjuncts are now represented by the Temple Association of University Professionals after the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board counted the votes to include adjuncts in the union Nov. 25.

The PLRB counted more than 900 ballots returned from a pool of about 1,400 adjunct voters. The final vote was 609 in favor of the accretion and 266 against, TAUP President Art Hochner said. The remaining 32 were disqualified due to incorrect ballots or questionable eligibility of the voter.

TAUP will now represent full- and part-time faculty in each school except for law, dentistry, medicine and podiatric medicine, and set terms for factors like pay increases, benefits and rules for appointment within the union.

In September 2014, TAUP started a campaign asking adjuncts to sign cards to unionize with TAUP, Hochner said. The cards were then presented along with a petition to the PLRB.

The labor board held six hearings between March and August before Hearing Examiner John Pozniak decided adjuncts would vote  on whether to join the union in early October, Hochner said.

The ballots were mailed Nov. 9, and were due back by 4 p.m. Nov. 24. The PLRB must now officially certify the results, Hochner said.

“Full-time faculty and adjuncts create a community of interest and there were a lot of similarities,” Hochner said. “I don’t think there’s going to be any objections from Temple and certainly not from the adjuncts.”

“Before this all happened we settled an agreement with administration in 2014, and it’s a four-year agreement,” Hochner added. “We’re going to have to go to the bargaining table.”

The union surveyed adjuncts about what they wanted before the vote, Hochner said.

“[The accretion] gives adjuncts a voice in their employment, and we want to show that and make sure they are heard,” he said. “The first job is for the union to listen to them and present it to Temple. … We do that with the full-time faculty as well.”

TAUP is looking to change its leadership structure as well as its constitution to include adjuncts.

“I’m glad we’re going to have a united voice, and I’m looking forward to meeting with [Temple] and discussing things,” Hochner said. “A lot of time and money was spent on this, and I’m glad it’s over.”

Provost Hai-Lung Dai sent an email to university adjuncts informing them of the ballot results Nov. 25, and added the university will begin working with TAUP to create a collective bargaining agreement that includes adjuncts.

Ray Betzner, a university spokesman, said Temple will negotiate with TAUP after its constitution is amended.

“We have to wait on the union,” Betzner said. “The next steps are theirs.”

Lian Parsons can be reached at lian.parsons@temple.edu or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.

Lian Parsons
can be reached at lian.parsons@temple.edu Or you can follow Lian on Twitter @Lian_Parsons Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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