In what has almost become a common occurrence on campus, Temple presented another contract offer to the Temple Association of University Professionals, and the union planned a rally as its response to the offer.
The negotiations have been going on for months since TAUP’s contract expired in the fall. Many students are unaware of the details of the situation, and those who try to educate themselves get lost in the back-and-forth between the university and TAUP. The language of the university’s most recent offer attempts to address the union’s concerns. It reads like the university is tired of the fight and wants to resolve the issue quickly.
Quick isn’t what TAUP does best, as it continues to reject offers and accuse President Ann Weaver Hart of being anti-union. The contract dispute will most likely continue into the next semester as a new batch of students arrive on campus, wondering why some of their professors are carrying giant pink elephants that have the words “Labor Relations” written on them.
The lack of knowledge is a big weakness for TAUP when it tries to get students on board for its fight. Even those who try to stay abreast with the issue are undecided in their allegiance to TAUP or Temple. The Temple News has tried its best to keep our readers informed, but it is often hard to determine if Temple is trying to make things difficult for the union as some TAUP leaders have said or if the union is asking for unreasonable demands.
The April 8 offer to TAUP addresses concerns that if a contract is negotiated for the next five years during these tough times, and the economy improves, Temple would be willing to reopen negotiations if both parties agree to negotiate in good faith.
Negotiating in good faith has not been part of the process up until now, so it is hard to imagine that this time will be forgotten when it is time to head to the negotiating table again.
TAUP is usually very eager to take to the press to get its message out, while Temple has been more restrained in its comments, usually only responding to a TAUP event or posting the offers to the union on the Temple Web site.
Both parties need to do a better job talking to each other and listening instead of yelling their sides with their fingers jammed in their ears.