As negotiations continue, Temple waits to hear from TAUP regarding extension
The extension offer from Temple University would result in all full-time faculty members receiving raises of up to 5%. There would also be a 12% increase to the minimum rate for adjunct faculty.
Temple University continues to bargain with the Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP), the union representing full- and part-time faculty members, librarians, and academic professionals at 13 of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges. The primary goal with these negotations remains the need to provide fair conditions and compensation for faculty, librarians and academic professionals, while also honoring a commitment to keep a Temple education affordable for students.
To that point, on Oct. 13, just two days prior to the expiration of the current contract, the university proposed an extension of the agreement to June 30, 2024 that includes
- a total increase pool of 5% for all full-time faculty, librarians and academic professionals retroactive to July 1 (4% across the board, 1% merit);
- approximately 12% increase to minimum rate for adjunct faculty retroactive to the beginning of the fall 2023 semester; and
- severance equal to full-time staff for nontenure-track faculty with long-term service at the university, in the event their contract is not renewed.
“Our faculty members are just outstanding, and I have such deep respect for the work that they do. They’re the lifeblood of this institution,” said Richard Englert, president of Temple University. “We think this is a really great deal, and they deserve it. We hope that they ultimately decide to accept the extension.”
The university’s main objective in proposing the extension is to provide the university community with certainty for the remainder of the academic year, while also ensuring that faculty and staff represented by TAUP are able to continue to work with the benefit of a full year’s increase.
This also marks the third extension proposed by the university.
Prior to the start of the negotiations, the university offered an 18-month extension to the current agreement that would have provided TAUP members with guaranteed salary increases effective July 1, 2023, and kept benefits constant. TAUP ultimately declined this extension.
Then, following the tragic passing of Temple University President JoAnne A. Epps in September, the university proposed a three-month extension to ensure stability for the university community. TAUP countered that proposal, which is what has led to Temple’s current counter proposal for an extension.
“It is no secret that the Temple community has had a challenging year,” said Sharon Boyle, vice president for human resources. “So the entire idea of the extension is to give ourselves some breathing room and provide the university stability. We still will be negotiating and meeting as frequently as needed if an extension is accepted, and the ultimate goal is to reach a new four-year agreement well before the June 30 contract expiration.
“While this extension is longer than the previously proposed three-month extension, we are now also offering a year’s worth of salary increases, and it is among the highest single-year increases that Temple has offered this bargaining unit in recent memory. So, for that reason, we wanted to be sure that we also give the university community the same amount of certainty and a year’s worth of space for good faith discussions toward a new agreement,” Boyle added.
From the university’s perspective, the desire to reach an extension is also motivated by the fact that negotiations are still in the preliminary stages. Very few economic proposals have been exchanged up to this point.
As of now, the parties are scheduled to meet four times between Nov. 1 and Dec. 14. TAUP is not available to negotiate on any of the six additional November dates offered by Temple.
“While we are confident that we will eventually reach an agreement, that will take some time given that we are in the early stage of negotiations. As of now, our faculty, librarians and academic professionals represented by TAUP continue to work under the expired agreement, and they have not received a raise this fiscal year. This extension is an opportunity to reward them for all of their hard work while we work through proposals, and it’s also retroactive to July,” Boyle said.
TAUP has not yet accepted or declined Temple’s current proposal. After it was proposed to the TAUP negotiating team, the university shared the offer electronically with all TAUP members.
Since then, the union’s Executive Council reportedly voted to file an unfair labor practice against Temple for direct dealing. The university believes that sharing its offer with employees after it was sent to the union to provide transparency was permissible and appropriate. It is important for all TAUP members to have information regarding the latest on negotiations, particularly since the expiration date has passed. The union insisted on negotiations open to all bargaining unit employees to ensure transparency, and the university agreed. The university is surprised that the union is objecting to the sharing of its extension offer with employees for the same reason.
Temple and TAUP will continue negotiations during their next scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Visit temple.edu/taup-negotiations to view updates regarding the negotiation process.