Temple faculty and administration make progress on contract

The two sides will meet again today and Thursday to continue negotiations. The current faculty contract expired on Oct. 15.

Steve Newman, Temple Association of University Professionals president, claps at a TAUP rally outside Charles Library on Oct. 15. TAUP and the university are currently in ongoing contract negotiations. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Members of Temple’s faculty union and the university’s administration made progress on several issues in the pending faculty contract and remained in disagreement on others on Oct. 18, said Steve Newman, the president of Temple Association of University Professionals.

The faculty’s contract expired on Oct. 15. 

The two sides agreed to end discussion on reforming the disciplinary process for tenure-track faculty and postpone discussion on ending the requirement for non-tenure track faculty to teach, research and perform academic service at the same time, Newman said. They also came closer to agreeing on pay raises for full-time faculty and staff, he added.

“Both sides have moved and been able to get possibly difficult issues off the table,” Newman said.

Meanwhile, the parties have not progressed on issues surrounding job security for adjunct and non-tenure track faculty, diverse hiring requirements for staff and child care assistance, Newman said.

The university has not guaranteed automatic consideration of adjuncts instructors for promotion and multi-semester contracts after seven semesters, one of TAUP’s “core” proposals, Newman added.

The current faculty contract does not force supervisers to consider multi-year contracts for instructors, meaning their jobs are not guaranteed, Newman said. 

When asked about the specific issues TAUP and the university addressed in negotiations, a spokesperson for the university deferred to an earlier statement written by President Richard Englert and Provost JoAnn Epps to the university community.

“Although there have been several agreed-upon items, there remain many proposals under consideration including those pertaining to pay and benefits,” the statement read.

“We are confident that negotiators for the university and TAUP will continue to work in the spirit of cooperation, with a focus on reaching a fair agreement while always keeping our students’ best interests as a top priority,” it read.

“We’re not asking Temple to move that much, really,” Newman said.

Temple and TAUP will meet again for negotiations today and on Thursday, Newman said. 

The faculty union and university administration began formal negotiations in April but postponed them to August after the first round of talks fell through. It was the first time adjunct and full-time faculty bargained together, The Temple News reported. 

A rally marking the expiration of the current faculty contract attracted hundreds of students, faculty and other union members to the Charles Library on Oct. 15. 

Since negotiations began, TAUP and the university have agreed to add language that protects professors from negative student feedback, increased representation of non-tenure track faculty on committees that consider faculty merit and promotions, and clarified job information and requirements for academic advisers in the College of Liberal Arts, Newman said.

In total, TAUP and the university have signed 15 tentative agreements so far, Newman said.

The union will return to the negotiating table today with proposals on ensuring paid parental leave and child care support from the university, said Leanne Finnagan, who represents university librarians in the negotiations.

“I’m just eager to see how things are going to turn out,” Finnagan added.

“We feel better than we did the week before, and we hope that this momentum on both sides can lead to a settlement as quickly as possible,” Newman said.

“We’re not there yet, and we can’t get complacent,” he added.

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