Philadelphia City Council was expected to introduce a resolution this morning that will affect Temple’s 1,100 graduate employees.
TUGSA (Temple University Students’ Association) has been fighting to get recognition from Temple so that it can properly bargain with the University for over a year. City Councilman David Cohen was expected to have introduced the resolution in council sessions this morning.
The resolution will call upon Temple to recognize TUGSA and the American Federation of Teachers to represent the school’s graduate assistants.
TUGSA also represents teaching assistants and research assistants here at Tempe.
The union won a major battle in its long time attempt for what they call “fair” treatment by the University on Oct. 17 when the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board upheld the group’s argument that they are protected by state law for bargaining matters.
The decision was a unanimous one on the part of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.
Graduate employees at Temple teach many classes and also share in grading responsibilities, conduct research and provide administrative support for offices and programs at Temple.
“As an employer,” a TUGSA press release said. “Temple has an obligation to treat its workers with justice.”
On Monday, the union hosted a town hall meeting to discuss the University’s role as an employer, a neighbor and a civic institution to the surrounding neighborhood.
The meeting took place at the Women’s Christian Alliance Center at 1610 N. Broad Street. District Council 47 president Tom Cronin and other civic leaders spoke at the event.
After the event, the newly formed Workers’ Rights Board announced its existence at a press conference. The board is a group of academic, religious and community leaders set up to advocate on behalf of workers in Philadelphia.
Like Cohen’s resolution, the board asked Temple to agree to a union certification election for Temple’s graduate employees.
“We will demand that Temple honor the rights of all of its workers, graduate employees included,” the release said. “And that it uphold its mission as a populist educator for the people of this city.”
Last year, TUGSA demonstrators held protests around the University to try to get a deal they thought was fair. If council’s resolution goes through, the union will have an easier time than they have in the past.