We would like to remind Temple’s administration and the Temple Association of University Professionals to remember the students.
The administration and TAUP are currently stuck in negotiations over new contracts, and TAUP could be headed for a strike if new contracts aren’t agreed upon by Oct. 14.
We understand TAUP’s concern that tuition is rising and faculty salaries are not, and that removing department chairs from the union could debilitate their position as advocates for the faculty.
As college students struggling with tuition and a recession, we also understand the college’s desire to cut costs.
That being said, this university is a business, and we are paying dearly for Temple’s services. A strike affecting classes would send a clear and distinct message: the university and faculty are more concerned with their own wallets than with the education they provide.
This is not a condemnation or warning against TAUP alone. If the university is stonewalling against TAUP’s changes, the disruption caused by a strike would be its fault as much as TAUP’s.
Professors, and certainly the administration and its lawyers, are comparatively well-paid. Students are not. A strike would mean financial inconvenience for the university and its faculty. For students, it would mean disaster. Finding jobs and maintaining decent grades take up enough time as it is.
Students cannot afford to bear the brunt of a meltdown in negotiations between TAUP and Temple. What’s more, there is no reason they should have to.
If current seniors are denied their graduations when May rolls around because of strikes, the university will have discarded its duty to the students. A university is charged with preparing students to be competent, well-rounded professionals in whatever career they are pursuing. It’s worth mentioning that they are also being paid thousands of dollars per semester to do this.
The university and TAUP need to remember who pays a significant portion of their paychecks while they negotiate exactly what those paychecks will be. If they fail to do so, they will have failed their duties.