Temple University, faculty union reach tentative agreement

Members of the union will vote on ratifying the contract next week.

Students, faculty and leaders of Temple Association of University Professionals rally in front of the Charles Library on Oct. 15, hours before the previous faculty contract expired. TAUP announced a tentative agreement with the university on Nov. 26. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / FILE PHOTO

On Nov. 26, after seven months of negotiations, Temple Association of University Professionals announced a tentative agreement with the university for a four-year contract. 

The contract includes pay raises for all full-time faculty, increases to the cost of healthcare plans for full-time faculty and staff, and the establishment of written guidelines for rank, pay and evaluation of adjunct faculty members, as detailed by TAUP’s website.

The two sides began negotiations in April. The current faculty contract expired on Oct. 15. 

Union members will be able to vote on the contact from Dec. 3-13, as per an email sent to faculty and staff from TAUP.

Steve Newman, the president of TAUP, could not be immediately reached for comment.

“We want to thank everyone who helped make this outcome a reality, especially the negotiating teams from both Temple and TAUP, for their tireless efforts at the bargaining table,” wrote President Richard Englert and Executive Vice President and Provost JoAnne Epps in an email to faculty Wednesday.

“Temple’s core mission is to provide broad access to the best possible education for our talented students, and our outstanding faculty are central to that mission,” Englert and Epps wrote. “The proposed agreement demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the university and its faculty to collaborate in furtherance of our common goals.”

Under the contract, faculty and staff will become eligible to join Tuition Exchange, a partnership across multiple universities that allows dependents of university staff to apply for special scholarships that cover most or all of their tuition, according to TAUP’s website. 

Additionally, student feedback forms will not be used as the “primary or sole criterion to evaluate faculty on hiring, appointment, termination, or any other personnel issue,” according to TAUP’s summary of the agreement. 

TAUP’s website does not address whether the contract includes diverse hiring requirements for staff, provisions for childcare, or whether TAUP can keep their office space, all of which were issues that arose during negotiations, as previously identified by Newman.

This round of negotiations was the first time that adjunct faculty and full-time faculty were able to strike a bargain. Under the new contract, non-tenure track faculty who have served 6 years or more will generally receive contracts that are at least three years long, and adjuncts will be eligible to receive multi-semester contracts. 

Librarians who are expecting mothers will be given the ability to draw from a “sick leave bank” if they have not previously accrued eight weeks of sick leave, according to TAUP’s website. They will also have more flexibility in requesting time off.

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