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TAUP Member Benefits

November 12, 2014

The Status of Department Chairs in the TAUP Bargaining Unit

Dear members of the bargaining unit,

I write to update you about an important process currently underway concerning membership in our union.

As you may know, Temple’s administration petitioned the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board to exclude chairs from our bargaining unit.  TAUP opposed this motion, and both sides provided testimony and evidence to a PLRB hearing examiner.  The hearing examiner recently ruled in the administration’s favor, and the TAUP Executive Committee, after carefully reviewing this decision, voted unanimously to appeal.  Our attorney is preparing to file exceptions (the term for an appeal in this case) to the full Labor Board on factual and legal grounds before the deadline of November 20.  It could take months before the PLRB makes a decision on our exceptions.

While the appeal is pending, the status quo will be in place.  That is, Chairs will remain members of the TAUP bargaining unit, which has been the case for over 40 years, until and unless the PLRB decides otherwise.  The PLRB ruled in 1973, when TAUP was certified as the bargaining agent, that Chairs were primarily faculty.  TAUP maintains that their duties are much the same as they were then.

The TAUP contract supports Chairs in many ways and ensures that Chairs are faculty colleagues rather than bosses.  These contractual features include:  faculty merit awards, which compare Chairs to other full-time faculty; Chair selection procedures; minimum standards for Chair compensation, with access to that data; and Chairs’ role in tenure, promotion, and discipline procedures.  Chairs don’t receive union grievances, which helps keep collegial relations within the department.  Without these contractual guarantees and rules, we don’t know what changes Temple management would impose on Chairs.

TAUP’s mission is to give voice to faculty at all levels and in all categories.  We believe that the interests of all faculty members, including Chairs, are best served by working together.  Therefore, we have steadfastly objected to the administration’s attempts to divide us, and we will continue to do so.

Please contact me at stevenewman1@verizon.net  or  215-983-8905; after Dec. 1, when Art Hochner returns from his teaching abroad, it would be better to contact him at ahochner@gmail.com; 215-704-6990.  You may also contact TAUP at taupaft@aol.com; 215-763-2287 with any questions and comments.  Please let us know if you think the administration is moving forward before there is a final ruling from the PLRB.

Collegially,

Steve Newman
Acting President

October 27, 2014

TAUP Members Overwhelmingly Say YES to New Contract

The ballots were counted today on the ratification of the tentative contract agreement with Temple administration.  Out of 358 votes cast, TAUP members approved it by a very wide margin - 96.4% Yes to 3.6% No.  This result is a ringing endorsement of the contract settlement and a gratifying show of confidence in the TAUP Negotiating Team and Executive Committee.

The next step in the approval process is for Temple’s Board of Trustees to conduct their own ratification vote.  Once that takes place, the provisions of the new collective bargaining agreement will go into effect.  For instance, the across-the-board (ATB) pay increases, including the raise retroactive to July 1, 2014, will most likely be seen in November paychecks.

This result is worth celebrating, for the faculty, librarians, and academic professionals in our bargaining unit made many significant gains.  See the TAUP summary and the actual Tentative Agreement for full details, but here are some highlights:

  •  Pay package - 11.5% to 12.5% over 4 years, including:
    • ATB raises – 6.5% over 4 years, i.e., 1.625% each year, exceeding recent inflation (the 2013 CPI-U was 1.6%)
    • Merit pay - 5.0% to 6.0% overall, including an innovative merit program that provides for group awards and for RCM (decentralized budgeting) performance
  • NTT pension - Major increases for nontenure-track faculty
  • Tenure & Promotion - strengthened faculty role and increased transparency and timeliness in assembling and evaluating T&P file
  • NTT multi-year contracts and promotion – multi-year appointments after 3 years and uniform guidelines and criteria for promotion
  • Librarian issues - limits on workload and on hiring of fixed-term librarians  
  • Faculty workload - flexibility within specified limit
  • Administration openness and responsiveness to proposals on:
    •  Non-Temple tuition benefits for dependent children
    • Childcare resources (which could include daycare on campus)
    •  Workload guidelines
  • Discipline & dismissal - improved flexibility and cooperation

There were, however, some losses.  We accepted some increases in co-pays for health care visits, but were able to get them phased in.

 Still, on balance there are many gains and very few losses.  And the peaceful method used in the talks, based on discussion of issues, provides a basis for improved union-management relations at Temple.

Hearty thanks to all who participated in the contract discussions and who made it possible to come to a good and timely agreement.

 

October 20, 2014

TAUP Member Contract Ratification Information

Dear TAUP members,

On behalf of the TAUP Executive Committee, I’m very happy to present the tentative agreement between Temple and TAUP for your approval.  It is the product of intense, hard bargaining between union and management, involving compromises on both sides.  TAUP achieved something on virtually every issue that we raised.

These negotiations set a new level of cooperation, responsiveness, and creative thinking on both parts.  Every issue and proposal we brought up was discussed thoroughly and treated respectfully.  We treated the administration’s proposals with the same measure of respect, even when we raised objections or sought changes to them.  We believe that the negotiations form the basis for continued good relations between the parties.

For the faculty, librarians, and academic professionals in our bargaining unit, we achieved many significant gains.  See the TAUP summary and the actual Tentative Agreement for full details, but here are some highlights:

  •  Pay package - 11.5% to 12.5% over 4 years, including:
    •  ATB raises – 6.5% over 4 years, i.e., 1.625% each year, exceeding recent inflation (the 2013 CPI-U was 1.6%)
    •  Merit pay - 5.0% to 6.0% overall, including an innovative merit program that provides for group awards and for RCM (decentralized budgeting) performance
  •  NTT pension - Major increases for nontenure-track faculty
  •  Tenure & Promotion - strengthened faculty role and increased transparency and timeliness in assembling and evaluating T&P file
  •  NTT multi-year contracts and promotion – multi-year appointments after 3 years and uniform guidelines and criteria for promotion
  •  Librarian issues - limits on workload and on hiring of fixed-term librarians  
  •  Faculty workload - flexibility within specified limit
  • Administration openness and responsiveness to proposals on:
    •  Non-Temple tuition benefits for dependent children
    •  Childcare resources (which could include daycare on campus)
    •  Workload guidelines
  •  Discipline & dismissal - improved flexibility and cooperation

Of course, we didn’t get all that we asked for.  We also accepted some increases in co-pays for health care visits, but were able to get them phased in.  Nevertheless, on balance there are many gains and very few losses in the tentative agreement.

You are invited to attend our informational meetings on WebEx on Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 12:00 noon to 1:30 PM and/or Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  You will receive information on how to login/call-in by separate email.

You will be able to vote immediately upon receiving a receive a second separate email with voting instructions, and voting will remain open until noon on Monday October 27, 2014.

The Executive Committee and I strongly urge you to vote YES on the contract.  The bigger the yes vote and the greater the vote total, the clearer the message is to the administration that we are strong, united and willing to build on our momentum.

Collegially,

Art Hochner Signature

Art Hochner
TAUP President

Click here for: TAUP/TU Collective Bargaining Agreement 2012-2014

American Federation of Teachers Local # 4531 AFL-CIO
1900 N.13th Street Barton Hall Room A231 Philadelphia PA 19122-6013
215-763-2287 - 215-204-7641 - E-Mail TAUP

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