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Current TAUP Adjunct Contract Proposals
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Know Your Rights!: Public Employee Relations Act
Proposal to Expand Tuition Benfits for Dependent Children
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May 19, 2017
A New Chapter for TAUP
With the recent election of officers and other leaders, TAUP opens a new chapter. As we look forward, we want to recognize how much we all owe Art Hochner. As the leader of TAUP for 30 years, through many negotiations and two strikes, Art was crucial to the remarkable gains enjoyed by faculty, librarians and academic professionals, and oversaw the accretion of 1400-plus adjuncts into our union. He has mentored each of the current officers, and the three of us are grateful for his ongoing generosity as we move forward in this work.
With new leadership comes change. The radical change in our country in the past year reminds us not to take the protections and guarantees achieved by unions for granted.
Among the challenges facing TAUP in the next year are:
- Continuing to work in the ongoing negotiations for adjunct faculty.
- Preparing for negotiations in 2018 for the entire Union
- Furthering our efforts to create a truly unified union among all constituencies, so we all understand and support each other's needs and vision for a better Temple.
- Supporting communities under threat, including those surrounding the campus, undocumented students, faculty from countries targeted by the travel ban, and others.
If TAUP is to meet these challenges, we need your involvement. As we often say, YOU are TAUP; this is why it’s so urgent for you to take a more active role in your Union, and there are many opportunities to do so.
Here are some things in store for the next year:
- Engagement: The work of the Union relies on understanding its members’ interests and needs; and we are creating structures to facilitate this understanding. In addition to our new Constituency Councils , new caucuses are in formation to address issues faced by diverse constituencies amongst the faculty, librarians, and academic professionals.
- Communication: We’ll be developing a new website, and will be communicating more directly on a regular basis through social media. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@TAUP). Our website will have new features, including a member’s spotlight, focusing on the important research and other accomplishments of TAUP members across ranks and tracks.
- Ongoing discussions regarding issues critical to our work, such as forums on RCM, shared governance, the football stadium, and the relationship of Temple to the surrounding North Philadelphia communities.
- Social events for faculty, academic professionals and librarians such as the creation of a new, pop-up lounge, and rallies in support of a broad range of constituencies across campus, among other things.
There’s much work ahead, and our ability to do it well relies on people who believe in the mission of the Union. If you are interested in engaging more with TAUP, and if any part of this work speaks to your interests and talents, now is the time to reach out and join us in working to further build an engaged community. Please contact Steve Newman (President), Jennie Shanker (Vice President), or Norma Corrales (Treasurer). We look forward to hearing from you!
May 19, 2017
TAUP and the administration met yesterday to continue bargaining a first contract for adjunct faculty. Prior to this, we offered the administration new proposals on salary minima, acrooss the board raises and promotion. On all of these issues, we significantly adjusted our proposals in an effort to settle the contract; for instance we removed rank differentials in salary, since the administration indicated that this was a bar to agreeing on a process for promotion. We also reduced our demand for increased minima and proposed phasing it in over the course of the year.
In response, the administration offered a raise to minima over three years that would in the first year give a raise of $50 a credit hour and in the third another raise of $50. Those earning between $1350 and $1400 in the second year of the contract would get a one-time $100 bonus--not an addition to base pay. Everyone else above the minimum would get nothing. The administration reiterated its position that their proposals were informed by market competitiveness; we believe that the administration’s version of the market cannot be the sole component determining how people are paid, especially in the case of those who do the crucial work of teaching Temple’s students.
We discussed the possibility of extending this contract beyond the October 15, 2018, the date that had previously been suggested, that may give both sides some needed flexibility.
But despite the progress we have made and the hopes for more, there is still great distance between us on crucial issues, such as Academic Freedom and Dues Deduction, where Temple has made no movement. Without some shift on these two issues in particular, we are not encouraged to move much further in our proposals. But we are resolved to keep meeting as long as the discussions have a chance of being productive.
If you have any questions or concerns, if you would like to get more involved in the work of TAUP, please contact Steve Newman (President) at email@example.com or Jennie Shanker (Vice President) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 8, 2017
Negotiations Update 5/5
The TAUP negotiating team brought a new salary proposal to the table on Friday when we met with the administration, and the administration put forth a two-page comprehensive proposal that repeated their positions on the various issues under discussion, with some minor changes.
The majority of the session was spent discussing our differences as each side re-articulated our respective overarching frameworks and guiding principles.
The administration’s commitment is explicitly to market principles. They say that they have no trouble recruiting and retaining faculty, and they believe that this shows that their working conditions are competitive in the Philadelphia region. They see no need to “fix higher education’s failings.” They feel that they have made significant strides in treating adjuncts well and expressed that there is little need to change the way things are currently done.
TAUP has a different view. We believe that the market must not be the only determinant because it so often leaves workers at the mercy of management. Workers have formed labor unions for the last century precisely to fight back against the power imbalance that market fundamentalism brings. It’s why adjunct faculty organized at Temple, just as full-time faculty, librarians, and academic professionals did so in the 1970s.
The administration has for decades participated in moving sharply away from tenure-track hiring—often hiring its own former graduate students to serve in these contingent roles. The administration cannot act as if the market is some force completely outside its own decisions, past and present. Adjunct faculty are exploited by a bottom-line approach that distorts Temple’s real financial situation—which is quite healthy. Rather than directing resources toward the faculty, the administration hoards them and funnels them toward purposes tangential to the fundamental mission of the university.
Universities are not merely businesses. Academic values are what inform our specific proposals. Chief among those currently in dispute:
- Insuring that all faculty have academic freedom and the ability to grieve the outcome of an internal investigation if the individual and the union identify problems in the process or decision. In our discussion last Friday, the administration again threatened to remove academic freedom from the contract for all faculty if we did not adopt their view that alleged violations should not be grievable.
- Obtaining a significant adjustment in salaries:Temple adjunct faculty wages should be on par with other state schools in our area that are unionized. In this first contract, significant gains are needed to make up for decades of neglect and exploitation.
- Creating a well-deserved degree of job security for adjunct faculty through processes that offer chairs flexibility in hiring and recognize that experience in teaching at Temple has great value to students and the institution.
- Creating paths to promotion through fair and transparent discipline-specific processes
- Installing automatic dues deduction, just as the administration does for every other union at Temple, to make it easy for members to maintain their membership, and to allow the union to focus on the important work of serving the faculty, librarians and academic professionals at Temple.
We are eager for a new contract, but we are far apart on these and other concerns. The administration either refuses to discuss these issues, or takes positions that would be clearly unacceptable to our members.
The administration has stated that the longer the process takes, the more adjuncts lose out on the raises they deserve; but after a year of bargaining, the highest raise they’ve offered has amounted to less than $7 per week per class. In addition, it would only apply to those who are making the minimum salary ($1300/cr). That means that half of the adjuncts at Temple would receive no increase.
But more is at stake here than pay. We think that adjunct faculty who have taught for more than 6 semesters and who are qualified to teach a course available for adjunct faculty should be offered that course first. The administration says this isn’t fair. The administration also doesn’t believe that it’s necessary to establish guidelines for promotion.
We are committed to continue discussing these matters, but only as long as we see signs that these discussions will be fruitful. We are eager to hear from members about these issues.
Please share your thoughts with us at email@example.com.
If you are not a member and support our work on behalf of all of the members of the bargaining unit, you can join here, or contact Abbey Bricker firstname.lastname@example.org.