The Temple Association of University Professionals, representing approximately 1,400 full-time professors, librarians and academic professionals, voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract, and the Temple University Board of Trustees approved the agreement this week.
The new, four-year agreement replaces the previous contract, which expired October 15, and is effective immediately.
“The contract is worth celebrating not only for the gains we were able to negotiate for our members , but also for the atmosphere of cooperation we were able to achieve working with the new administration at Temple University,” said TAUP President Arthur Hochner.
“This agreement benefits students significantly,” Hochner added. “It creates a more secure work environment for faculty, librarians and academic professionals, freeing them to spend more of their time working with and help students,” he added. “Furthermore, the contract settlement lays the foundation for productive, ongoing dialogue between our faculty and administration on ways to improve the delivery of educational services to our students in the future.”
The contract provides raises of 11.5 to 12.5 percent over four years, including across-the-board raises of 6.5 percent over the life of the contract and merit pay of 5 to 6 percent of salary for both individuals and groups that work collaboratively with their departments to create innovative programs to serve the changing needs of students. Across the board pay increases are retroactive to July 1 and will likely be included in November paychecks.
Employees will pay higher co-pays for healthcare visits, but these will be phased in to allow families to plan for the added expense.
TAUP also secured for non-tenure-track faculty members multiyear appointments after three years, uniform guidelines and criteria for promotion and Temple University contributions to the defined-contribution pension plan for those employees.
“Non-tenure-track faculty comprise a growing part of Temple’s workforce and until now, they were hired mostly year to year and were the only group that did not receive the same employer contributions to their 403(b) retirement plans,” Hochner explained. “This contract moves non-tenured faculty gradually toward parity. As 45 percent of the faculty, they are valuable members of the teaching pool and are responsible for a significant portion of teaching undergraduate courses, yet they have been treated like second-class employees. Multiyear appointments and better retirement contributions will ease the burden on our colleagues, giving them more time to focus on their teaching and the needs of students.”
Hochner said the administration was willing to continue discussion of TAUP proposals including ways to help Temple faculty members pay non-Temple tuition for their dependent children; provide new childcare resources, which could include daycare on campus; revising workload guidelines; and improving flexibility and cooperation in cases of discipline or dismissal.
“On balance there are many gains and very few losses,” Hochner said, “and the peaceful method used in the talks, based on discussion of issues, provides a basis for improved union-management relations at Temple.”
Hochner said issue-based joint subcommittee discussions began in late May and lasted through September. The full negotiating teams began meeting October 7 and concluded October 16.