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Temple Grad Assistants' union OKs 5th contract

Temple University Graduate Student Association, Local  6290, recently ratified its fifth contract since the union's founding in 2001.

The contract provides all grad employees with wages increases of 11 percent over the four-year contract and the university will pay the entire cost of healthcare, which includes vision, dental, and prescription while continuing dependent coverage for the first two years of the contract. The union also was able to make the following gains in the 2018-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement:

•  Open enrollment for healthcare plans will begin three weeks earlier than previously so health insurance coverage can begin on September 1, at the beginning of the plan year.

•  The university agreed to include a third-party hearing officer in the grievance procedure. Previously, the university was not only a party to grievances but also judge and jury.

•  TUGSA will receive all membership management records in an editable and electronic form.    

While TUGSA has made important and substantive gains during this contract, the union firmly believes that preparations for the 2022-2026 Collective Bargaining agreement begin now. To that end, the union has developed a four-year strategic plan to increase membership as well as embark on a campaign of member education in 2018-19 followed by community building campaign in 2019-2020.

“In the post-Janus age, TUGSA believes that membership education and engagement is the key to building union power both on and off the negotiation table,” said Ethan Ake-Little, TUGSA president.

TUGSA is the only graduate employee labor union in the state and represents over 800 graduate employees (teaching and/or research assistants).

April 13, 2018

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