Members of the Temple Association of University Professionals voted to ratify their contract on Friday after the union announced a tentative agreement with the university administration on Nov. 26.
Approximately half of the union members cast ballots for the contract, which passed with 95 percent approval among those who voted, said Steve Newman, TAUP’s president.
“It was tough,” said Jennie Shanker, vice president of TAUP. “We made some significant gains for some people. We attracted a lot of attention to things we didn’t get, and we won’t stop fighting for those things.”
“The two sides were often very far apart,” Newman said. “We made some concessions on health care, but we were able to improve that. I feel relieved.”
The contract will not take effect until the university administration ratifies it.
A spokesperson for the university could not be immediately reached for comment.
Among the union’s largest accomplishments was securing raises for full-time faculty, Newman said.
Additionally, if the union contract is ratified, adjunct professors will be able to request formal evaluations that could lead to pay raises, multi-semester contracts or promotions after two semesters, he added.
The contract also dictates that student feedback forms cannot be used as the “primary or sole criterion to evaluate faculty on hiring, appointment, termination, or any other personnel issue,” though the university could still use them to start the disciplinary process against a faculty member, according to TAUP’s website.
The union was not able to secure free childcare for its members, which makes Temple “unfriendly” for young professors, Shanker said.
The proposed contract also includes increases to the cost of healthcare for full-time union members, though TAUP was able to negotiate lower premiums and copays than the university had originally proposed, Newman said.