Temple University graduate teachers and researchers call an indefinite strike
They will also be rallying for necessary improvements — as negotiations with the institution have been going on for a year with no agreement.
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The Temple University Graduate Students’ Association (TUGSA) calls a strike in response to the long negotiations with the university administrators. For a year now, the teaching assistants (TAs) and research assistants (RAs) at the institution have been asking for better living wages and working conditions from the university.
TUGSA argues Temple refuses to comply with what they are asking for, so now the organization announced its first move of 2023 — after being active in 2022. According to a press release from TUGSA, a rally will be held at 2:30pm during today’s Board of Trustees meeting outside of Charles Library at the intersection of 13th and Polett Walk.
Check out their press release below:
“For over a year, our union has been trying to work with administration to negotiate a living wage, better benefits, and improved working conditions,” said Bethany Kosmicki, TUGSA Past President and current member of the negotiation team. “Temple’s administration has repeatedly ignored our demands, refusing us fair pay, affordable dependent healthcare, and increased parental leave. TAs and RAs are a core function of the University, teaching essential courses and conducting world class research. We deserve a contract that reflects our value to the University.”
The average TA and RA at Temple makes $19,500/year, barely half the cost of living in Philadelphia, and the cost of healthcare coverage for dependents is prohibitively high. The annual cost for a family healthcare plan can amount to as much as 86% of the total average salary of a graduate employee. Additionally, TAs and RAs are only provided 5 days of parental leave. Temple administration’s current proposal increases the base salary for graduate employees to just $22,500 by 2026.
Temple tasks TAs and RAs with teaching core curriculum, supporting students outside of the classroom, and conducting cutting-edge research that brings in millions of dollars in revenue. Other universities in Philadelphia have raised their graduate employee salaries to meet the demands of providing an adequate education to their students. Temple continues to disinvest from the classroom – simultaneously cutting budgets, raising tuition, and increasing class sizes, all while spending as little as possible on instruction.
To learn more about the strike and TUGSA’s goals, visit tugsa.org.”