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Students at the rally.
Students gathered in front of the library to protest.

TAs and RAs at Temple University rally for better working conditions

They are asking for fair pay, healthcare, parental leave and more.

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On Tuesday, Oct. 11th, Temple University Graduate Students’ Association (TUGSA) gathered in the middle of campus to protest. Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Researching Assistants (RAs) are rallying for fair pay, respect and a safer campus for international workers. 

Since January TUGSA has been negotiating with the university administration, but no agreement has been signed. TAs and RAs are asking for improvement in the workplace, wages, healthcare, and working conditions. 

According to the university’s audited financials, on average, TAs and RAs at TU make $20,000 to work in a city that costs $37,000 to live in. TUGSA argues that, last year alone, TU made over $238 million in profit — and this year the university cut its budget by 3.6% and raised tuition by 3.9%. A study by The Century Foundation also shows that TU spends $0.62 of every tuition in the classroom, being the last among all R1 public universities in the United States.  

The rally counted with some important speakers who joined for support. Besides community and TUGSA members, the rally had the presence of: Councilmeners Helen Gym and Isaiah Thomas; and States Representatives Rick Krajewski, Malcolm Kenyatta, Elizabeth Fiedler, Chris Rab, and Joe Hohenstein. 

Al Día News reached out to TU for clarification on their end about the TUGSA rally. Steve Orbanek, TU’s Director of Communications, stated that the university welcomes peaceful demonstrations like the one that was seen this week and that they are hopeful they will be able to engage in productive conversations with TUGSA, leading to an agreement in the near future.

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