The last time Temple professors went on strike was 1990, but now, there are whispers of a strike again.
Temple Association of University Professionals and the university have been locked in negotiations for months about the issue of merit pay. Temple is in favor of merit pay, while TAUP is opposed.
TAUP President Art Hochner said TAUP does not want to go to a full merit pay system because some faculty members would never receive pay increases despite performing well at their jobs.
The university recently raised tuition, but the salaries of faculty members have not increased.
Adequate compensation for professors is essential to ensuring qualified professors teach at Temple.
For most students, having competent teachers with something important to share and teach is more important than the millions of dollars poured into construction.
What good are new, state-of-the-art facilities if there aren’t strong professors teaching in them?
A school is only as good as the minds that fill it, not the newer buildings on the campus.
One of TAUP’s arguments against merit pay is the fear of the university having complete control over who receives raises.
TAUP executive board member Anthony Ranere said the complete control over pay raises by the university stifles academic freedom. In every syllabus students receive, there is often a paragraph devoted to academic freedom. This freedom of ideas should be extended to and executed by professors in addition to students.
Student support is essential to TAUP’s effort. During the strike in 1990, students marched on North Broad Street attempting to enter the office of the university’s chief negotiator. The group Students in Solidarity with University Professional and Students United for Education ended up holding a sit-in at Sullivan Hall.
Yesterday, Temple Student Government passed a resolution supporting TAUP.
The rest of the student body needs to be aware and inform themselves of the continuing situation with TAUP and the contract negotiations. If TAUP strikes, life on campus will be severely altered for the duration of the strike.
It is imperative students get involved and make their opinions on the situation known to the university, whatever they may be.