Category: Current Issues

For the Future of Education, Defeat the GOP Tax Reform Bills!



TAUP strongly opposes the tax bills proposed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and we stand ready to work with any group on campus, among them the Faculty Senate; Temple Student Government and Temple’s Administration, to defeat these proposals. Together, we must all work to stop this ill-conceived attack on economic fairness and education.

Our reasons for doing so stem in part from a  disgust at the way the bills largely benefit the wealthy at the expense of the public good.  We fear that the large deficits incurred will lead to spending cuts that hurt the most vulnerable people largely left out of these reductions in taxation.  The proposals hew to the exploded dogma of trickle-down economics–see Kansas for a recent example of its disastrous effects–whereby we are promised that tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations will yield GDP as high as 4 or 5%, numbers no credible economist, even those in favor of lower taxation, finds plausible.

But we also have very specific reasons that should concern every member of the Temple community no matter your political affiliation–these bills strike at the heart of funding education.  

Here are some provisions that directly affect higher ed:  

  • While the recently proposed Senate version would retain the deduction for interest on student loans, the House version would axe it, a change that would make it harder for our students to attend Temple and increase the burden on students already here—as well as many faculty, librarians, academic professionals and other Temple employees still paying off their loans.

  • Tuition remission for employees and their dependents would be taxed under the House bill.

  • The House bill taxes tuition remission for graduate school as if it were income. The devastating effects this proposal would have on graduate education if it became law have been well-described here.   

There are other attacks on education in these bills, including the removal in the House version of the deduction teachers can take for buying their own school supplies.  

Then there is the proposal in both bills to tax endowments at the wealthiest schools; legitimate questions might be posed about the huge endowments some universities have amassed.  Still, it is curious that the only entities or persons at the top targeted for tax increases are not for-profit corporations or wealthy individuals but universities!   

Finally, the proposal to get rid of State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions—present in the Senate bill but not in the House version—is projected to cut hundreds of billions of dollars in local and state support for education.

So what can we do?   Get active!  Time is short!  Call your Representative and Senator; calls are more effective than emails or even letters, and when you call make sure you let them know that you are from their district or state.  Our national union, AFT, has been fighting these proposals since the House bill was released; for instance, you can sign a petition against repealing the SALT deduction here.    It is also important to educate others on the terrible consequences of passing tax reform if it looks anything like the two bills that have been proposed; you can find a sample op-ed here, letters to the editor, and other resources if you scroll down a bit from this link.  

We’ll be in touch about other ways to push back against this proposed massive transfer of wealth to the wealthy
 at the expense of education and the public good.  

Adjunct Raises

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Among the gains in the new contract is a raise for eligible adjuncts making under $1425 per credit hour, retroactive to the beginning of this semester. We have just confirmed with Temple’s Human Resources department that the retroactive pay owed from the first two pay periods will be included in adjuncts’ November paychecks. This means your November paycheck will be larger than usual, and your December paycheck will reflect your new monthly rate of pay (for the fall semester; in the spring, there are 5 pay periods instead of 4).

You are eligible for a raise IF:

·        in addition to teaching this semester, you have also taught for at least one semester over the last three. (If this is your first semester teaching at Temple, you will receive a raise the next time you teach, provided it’s within the next three semesters.)


·        you have been making under $1425 per credit hour. You rate will be raised to $1425.

If you are making between $1425 to $1500. You will receive a one-time $150 dollar bonus.

If you make $1300/credit, the most common rate of pay that will be affected by the raise, you can reference this chart to determine the accuracy of your gross pay in the next two pay periods.

We highly recommend that everyone check their paychecks both in November and December.

If you find a discrepancy in your gross pay from what is stated here, please contact TAUP and your department chair or program director.

Tuition Benefits at Other Universities:  Moving Forward



As you may know, the current TAUP contract, which now expires October 15, 2019, includes a side letter which commits Temple’s administration to respond to proposals on tuition benefits at other universities put forth jointly by the Faculty Senate and TAUP.  This benefit would be of great value to our members and to Temple in recruiting and retaining talented faculty, librarians, and academic professionals.  So we are assembling a new committee to continue the work that was done in 2015, which included an inquiry into Tuition Exchange and other potential models and a discussion on how to survey members.  

If you’re interested in serving on the committee, here’s what to expect:

  • The Committee will meet once a month for 60-90 minutes, perhaps more frequently if necessary; but we are more likely to do our work individually and in small groups.

  • Members will be expected to do research and engage in productive conversations on the particular elements of the proposal that interest them most.

  • The Committee will formulate and distribute a survey by the end of January and analyze the results by the end of February.

  • The Committee will put forth proposals to the Administration by the end of the Spring 2018 semester.

If you are interested in participating and are a dues-paying member of TAUP, please contact Steve Newman, President of TAUP (; if you are interested but aren’t a dues-paying member, please contact Michael Sachs, President of the Faculty Senate (