Month: August 2017

A Tentative Agreement/First Contract for Adjuncts

After 15 months of negotiations, Temple’s Administration and TAUP have reached a Tentative Agreement for a first contract for adjunct faculty, expiring in October, 2019.  Approved by TAUP’s Executive Committee, it will now go to our members for ratification.  The date for the ratification vote will be set soon, and we will shortly be sending out procedures for ratification.

Three important points about this agreement:  1) adjuncts have won significant raises and protections; 2)a one-year extension of the full-time faculty contract means in Academic Year 2018-19 there is a provision for the same raise as in 2017-18 with no other changes to the contract; 3) going forward, TAUP will bargain as a united union, part-time and full-time.

Some key details are listed below.  First, it is important to explain why we have agreed to a two-year contract for adjuncts with a one-year extension of the current full-time contract.  This was the result of the Administration’s pushing for a three-year adjunct deal and treating it essentially as a separate contract.  This runs counter to the rightful finding of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board that we are ONE union and would also weaken us at the bargaining table by forcing us to negotiate at separate times, undercutting our solidarity.  Also, after over a year of negotiations, the Administration understandably did not want to bargain over adjunct conditions again in the coming Spring along with the full-time contract.   A two-year adjunct contract with a one-year extension for the full-time faculty  was the best way to resolve this conflict.  It means that our entire unit will be able to bargain together in 2019 and act together more effectively.

The contract offers substantial gains for ALL our members and puts TAUP in a stronger position as we look ahead.   Although this contract, like all contracts, does not include everything we hoped for, it lays the foundation for a future where we can make those gains. And it immediately establishes gains for ALL our members once ratified.  (To find out if you meet the eligibility requirements for the Bargaining Unit as an adjunct, please see Article 2 of the Tentative Agreement.)

  • Adjunct salaries:
    • In Academic Year 2017-18, the minimum salary for adjuncts increases from $1300 to $1425 per credit hour.
    • In Academic Year 2018-19, the minimum increases from $1425 to $1500 per credit hour. Taking these two increases together, this is a raise of 15.4% over the current minimum that will take effect at the beginning of AY 2018-19, less than a year from now.. It is also the first time we know of that adjuncts across the university have ever received raises two years in a row.
    • According to our rough estimates, over 70% of adjuncts would receive a raise in the minimum the first year and 80% cumulatively over both years.
    • Those earning between $1425 and $1500 get a $150 one-time payment the first time they teach during 2017-18.
  • Full-time salaries and benefits:
    • Full-time members of the bargaining unit will receive the same raise on 7/1/18 as on 7/1/17, which was the largest in the 2014-18 contract: 1.625% across-the-board, and 1.25-1.75% merit.
    • This extension  means that full-time members will not immediately face the pressure of higher health insurance premiums and co-pays.   Since we signed our last contract in 2014, all other unions who have signed contracts and employees not covered by collective bargaining have seen increases in premiums and co-pays.
    • Given that Temple does not know what its state appropriation for this year will be, locking in this raise and our current health care costs and benefits is, we believe, a wise choice.
  • Other gains for adjuncts:
    • A joint committee will be established to explore increasing Job Security for adjuncts. Within a year of forming, the committee is required to report to the Administration and TAUP, who are required to respond within two months of receiving the report.
    • The Health Insurance subsidy currently offered to adjuncts is now in the contract and thus not subject to unilateral administrative change, and the terms of eligibility are expanded so more adjuncts will qualify.
    • Adjuncts will now be protected by procedures on Grievance, Arbitration, and Discipline/Dismissal. The arbitration procedure turns to impartial, independent arbitrators to settle disputes.
    • Each adjunct will have an official Personnel File in the department or college that will include standard information. Union membership information will not be part of the file.  Adjuncts will be informed when material is added to their personnel file, and they get a chance to include a rebuttal of any negative information placed in it.
    • Protections for adjuncts’ Academic Freedom are written into the contract.
    • Joint committees are established to investigate Affirmative Action, Promotion, and Office Space.
    • Adjunct faculty whose classes are cancelled within one week prior to the start of classes or during Add-Drop will receive 4% of the salary they would have received as compensation.

The agreement is now posted on the TAUP website.  Over the next few days, we will be sending out further eBulletins on this Tentative Agreement, and we look forward to communicating with you in the days and weeks ahead.


Steve Newman, President

Jennie Shanker, Vice President

Norma Corrales-Martin, Treasurer

Art Hochner, Chief Negotiator

On behalf of the Negotiating Team and the Executive Committee

A Basic Needs Syllabus Clause

Guest Contributor Sara Goldrick-Rab is a Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology at Temple. She describes herself as “a scholar-activist with a singular mission: to identify novel approaches to making higher education the accessible and affordable place that families want and need it to be.”

We invited her to write an eBulletin when we learned of her latest effort to help students facing food and housing insecurity. We hope you will consider including the syllabus clause she has crafted to support her work in identifying and serving students in need.

Dear Temple colleagues,

It’s shame that anyone needs a reminder of the cold hard fact that adequate nutritious food and a good night’s sleep are required for learning college material, but let’s be honest — there’s plenty of evidence that much of higher education is in the dark. Part of the research I do at Temple is about how we can support every learner’s need for food and housing in an age of harsh and unforgiving inequality and a shredded safety net.

This is my first fall teaching at Temple. My course is for master’s degree students in our Higher Education program, and it is meant to equip them with the skills they need to attend to equity when working on college access and success. We’ll be working to unpack concepts such as “college readiness,” exploring the dimensions of inequality that shape our students’ lives, and discuss actions that practitioners can take when preparing students for college and supporting them while they attend college. Several weeks will be spent discussing the impacts of poverty and systemic racism on college outcomes and ways to use both internal collaborations and strategic external partnerships to ensure that such challenges to contain the harm such things do to the odds that students will complete degrees.

I thought the syllabus was finally finished, having just added the series of requisite College of Education policies (on things like plagiarism, attendance, etc.), when suddenly I realized that something was missing. And then I began crafting a statement on basic needs security, appending it to the set of policies. This was a first for me, but it felt necessary and internally consistent with the course. Here’s what it says:

Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact the CARE Team in the Dean of Students Office for support.  The CARE Team web address is  Furthermore, please notify me if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable me to provide any other resources that I may possess.

I added those four sentences because acknowledging that all students (including graduate students) face real financial challenges that could affect how they do in class, lets students know that I know this and care a lot about it, and help direct them to both support and resources. At the same time, I am not prepared to field every request and know that the CARE Team is terrific and ready to help.

Is this the right thing to do? Will it also help accomplish another goal — communicating to my students that a classroom of learners is, in my mind, a sort of family? Is this language exactly right? Will they respond to it as intended? I don’t know. But in this day and age, it sure seems worth the shot.

Please join me and support your students. And if you do modify your syllabus, please share that in this quick survey! Finally, if this topic interests you and you want to learn more, come to the #RealCollege conference I am hosting on campus this fall.

Much thanks,

Sara Goldrick-Rab

Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology

Temple University

After Charlottesville: All You Fascists Bound to Lose

However common violent bigotry has been in the history of our nation—and it has been heartbreakingly common—this past Friday’s and Saturday’s events in Charlottesville will stay with us for a long time. We must not forget the repugnant image of racists marching by the light of tiki torches and then in daylight and polluting the air with their hateful slogans, initiating violence against those standing against their hate. We must not forget the carnage caused by a white supremacist as he slammed his car into innocent counter-protesters, injuring 19 and killing Heather Heyer, whose loss we mourn and whose name we must honor and remember.

Nor can we forget the outrage of President Trump’s unwillingness to immediately and unequivocally condemn the racism, anti-Semitism, and other poisons put forth by those who gathered for “Unite the Right.”

Our national union, the American Federation of Teachers, has sent out an eloquent response, which includes this:

We call on the president, the Justice Department and the FBI to conduct real, transparent investigations into terrorism from white supremacists. We call on elected officials and law enforcement from all 50 states to use all of the resources at their disposal to keep our communities safe. People in America need to know that laws will be enforced to protect them. White Americans get to presume the laws will protect them; people of color, Jews Muslim, and queer Americans deserve that peace of mind as well.

So what can we in TAUP do directly to address the hateful ideologies that pre-date last weekend but which Charlottesville has brought into high relief? We are eager to hear your suggestions (please email TAUP’s president, Steve Newman). But here are some preliminary thoughts, informed by a conversation yesterday with some leaders in AFT’s Higher Ed Division.

First, we must be aware that an organized hate-fest could come to Temple; colleges and universities have been and will continue to be targets of these groups. We should not cede an inch of space at our university to hatred or to allow any member of our community–faculty, librarians, academic professionals, students, staff, and neighbors–to be subject to violence. There are many ways we might resist, but if we plan to confront these groups directly, we will need to be disciplined. Nonviolence in the face of provocation requires training. We are working with AFT to figure out how to provide such training and will keep you posted. If you have expertise in this field and want to be involved, please contact us.

We must also not remain reactive. We need to choose dates and places of our own to articulate our vision of an inclusive, just, and diverse university and society. TAUP will join in support of events that strengthen the values of those who productively voice their opposition to hate, and encourage groups to inform us of actions.

And we cannot think only in terms of dramatic confrontations. We must also recommit to the daily labor necessary to counter hatred with love and justice. We must do whatever we can to assure our community that racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia, ableism, and other forms of hatred have no place at Temple. When we encounter it, we must raise our voices against it, strongly and firmly. AFT Higher Ed will also be putting out new materials on how to this most effectively that we will share.

If you are the target of such hatred, please report it to the relevant authorities at Temple. Also, please contact TAUP. Non-discrimination and the health and safety of the members of our union are guaranteed by our contract, and we will do whatever we can to ensure that those terms are met.

Finally, there are concrete things we in TAUP—and that, of course, includes you–can do through our Union to combat all forms of discrimination on campus, including those less overt than what we saw and heard in Charlottesville. A Fighting Institutional Racism Caucus has had some preliminary meetings and we are planning a Women’s and LGBTQ Caucus. Together, we aim to work with groups associated with the Faculty Senate and the administration to ensure that Temple is a truly equitable place to work and study. If you are interested in these efforts, please contact Steve Newman.

Together, we must work to rid our world of the scourges of racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, homophobia, Islamophobia, ableism, and other forms of hate. That way, we can also do our part in affirming the promise made many decades ago by that great Union man, Woody Guthrie: “All you fascists bound to lose!”

Steve Newman, President

Jennie Shanker, Vice President

Norma Corrales-Martin, Treasurer