Hours before contract expires, Temple teachers rally for job security, pay raises

Mike DeNardo
October 15, 2019 - 3:59 pm
Temple faculty rally

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Faculty members at Temple University rallied on campus Tuesday afternoon, hours before their labor contract expires at midnight. While negotiators try to reach a new deal, instructors say they will continue teaching.

Members of the Temple Association of University Professionals assembled outside the school's new library, chanting, "Universities are not businesses!"

Union President Steve Newman said his 2,500 full- and part-time instructors want more job security, child care benefits, and pay raises. The union is proposing 3 percent raises, with 1.75 percent merit raises. So far, Newman said the university has not proposed any raises in base pay.

"What we're not comfortable with is having nothing across the board," he said. "We have never signed such a contract, and we never would."

Newman said the union is not planning any job action right now.

"What the contract expiring means is that if we did want to strike, we could start moving in that direction," he explained.

In a statement, Temple President Richard Englert says many proposals are still on the table, including those pertaining to pay and benefits. He says he's confident negotiators for both sides will work in the spirit of cooperation.