Temple University’s faculty union and university administrators made progress during its contract negotiations last week, said Steve Newman, president of Temple Association of University Professionals, Temple’s faculty union.
The two parties, who met on Oct. 22 and 24, made movements on several areas, like negotiating contract requirements for adjunct professors, merit for academic professionals and changes to the discrimination grievance process during its last two meetings, Newman said.
Temple and the faculty union will meet again on Nov. 6, he added.
Though he declined to give specifics, Newman said both sides’ movement on adjunct contracts, one of TAUP’s “core” proposals, was “significant” and that they are close to reaching an agreement.
TAUP’s wants to guarantee consideration of adjuncts for multi-semester contracts and promotion after seven semesters.
“We started getting to the most central issues,” Newman said.
The two sides remain in disagreement over the cost of health care plans for faculty, Newman said. TAUP is currently reviewing an administration proposal on healthcare before they return to negotiations.
A spokesperson for the university deferred to a statement from Temple President Richard Englert and Provost JoAnn Epps to the university community on Oct 15, the day the faculty contract expired.
“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.
On Oct. 18, the two sides reached two agreements about the disciplinary process for tenure-track faculty and teaching requirements for non-tenure track faculty, The Temple News reported.
Hundreds of students, faculty and staff rallied outside the Charles Library on Oct. 15 to demand that the university address TAUP’s proposals.
During negotiations last week, the university agreed to drop a proposal that would make major changes to the discrimination grievance process if TAUP agreed to inform faculty of alternative processes for alleging discrimination before they file, Newman said.
Declining to offer specifics, Newman also said the two sides agreed on language that clarified the merit process for academic professionals.
Merit is a financial incentive offered to faculty who are recognized by the university for excellence.
Both TAUP and the administration remain in disagreement on faculty wages, child care, parental leave, pensions for non-tenure track faculty and TAUP’s office space, Newman said, but they have made progress toward finalizing a contract.
“I’m really optimistic that we’re going to get to a deal,” he said.