July 25, 2024

Temple University is withholding tuition benefits for striking graduate students : NPR

4 min read
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Graduate college students doing work at Temple University went on strike for much better pay and added benefits on Jan. 31, immediately after about a year of drawn-out contract negotiations. Stanley Collins/TUGSA conceal caption

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Stanley Collins/TUGSA

Graduate learners doing work at Temple University went on strike for superior fork out and rewards on Jan. 31, following over a 12 months of drawn-out deal negotiations.

Stanley Collins/TUGSA

Temple University is withholding tuition and well being care advantages for a lot more than 100 performing graduate college students who are on strike for superior pay.

Some research and instructing assistants at the general public school in Philadelphia gained an electronic mail observe on Wednesday that their tuition remission experienced been revoked for the spring semester, “as a consequence of your participation in the [Temple University Graduate Students’ Association union] strike.” Tuition remission, a profit provided by a lot of faculties to assist finance employees’ tuition costs, addresses $20,000 a calendar year at Temple, according to the college.

Temple is now requiring the graduate learners to fork out their tuition stability by March 9 to keep enrolled in lessons, or else accrue a $100 late cost.

“This is needlessly cruel,” Matthew Ford, a lead negotiator for TUGSA, advised The Washington Post. “It has certainly angered and energized a ton of men and women.” Given that the graduate positive aspects were being slice off, Ford said, extra persons have joined the strike.

Graduate students took to the picket lines on Jan. 31, right after about a 12 months of stalled negotiations concerning Temple and the graduate pupil union. The union is accusing the college of shelling out wages that are unsuccessful to cover Philadelphia’s cost of living. TUGSA has not responded to NPR’s email messages and direct messages.

Temple reported in a statement on Thursday that pupils were being warned that using portion in the strike and not displaying up to operate would lead to them to shed their entire payment offer, which contains tuition guidance and absolutely free wellness care insurance plan. Pennsylvania law prohibits staff who refuse to do the job from receiving payment and get the job done-associated advantages, the university mentioned.

Far more than 80% of union-affiliated graduate learners continue to get the job done and get whole fork out, overall health benefits and tuition remission, Temple explained.

The union, which represents about 750 TAs and RAs, is proposing an yearly foundation wage of $32,800, up from the recent $19,500 typical income graduate pupils get. Temple’s proposal raises the base salary for graduate workforce to $22,500 by 2026, according to TUGSA.

Union users are also calling for expanded parental depart, outside of the latest five days allotted, as effectively as cost-effective loved ones health treatment, which they say can cost up to 86% of their salaries.

Temple said that students who return to get the job done can get their benefits restored immediately.

“Returning to function does not necessarily mean individuals can’t picket or voice their considerations,” university Communications Director Stephen Orbanek mentioned in a statement to NPR. “It just implies they ought to operate to generate compensation and positive aspects, like any one else.”

Critics are contacting the go a brazen union-busting tactic.

“This retaliation tactic by Temple is unacceptable,” Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said in a tweet. “The ideal to organize—and to strike—is foundational in a democracy.”

Philadelphia’s city council on Thursday handed a resolution in aid of TUGSA’s calls for.

The staff at Temple are the most recent in a latest wave of labor protests by grad pupils who have long gone on strike for much better fork out and working circumstances, which includes at Harvard and University of California campuses.


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Resource website link Recently, it was reported that Temple University in Philadelphia is refusing to grant tuition benefits from the Graduate Student Student Associtaion (GSSA) to students who are actively participating in a strike for better conditions and wages. This news was met with criticism from many organisations who have come out in support of the striking students.



The strike, which started on March 16, comprimises of a group of teaching assistants and graduate students who are calling for better wages, better working conditions and fee waivers or deferrals when pre-existing agreements are not fulfilled. The strikers had previously called off their walkout in response to promises of wage increases and improved working conditions.



University officials have stated that tuition benefits will not be granted if the students miss any upcoming classes or if they don’t submit any assignments or work on time during their strike. This news has been met with criticism from the university’s faculty and staff, who released a joint statement in solidarity with the striking students.



The United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) organisation has also sided with the striking students, with the national organisation stating that “the university’s decision to withhold the tuition benefits from these vulnerable students, is malicious and should immediately be reversed”. The USAS has also urged Temple University students to sign a petition in support of the striking students, and to contact their elected representatives and demand that the university overturn its decision.



In conclusion, Temple University’s decision to deny tuition benefits to striking graduate students has been met with condemnation from various organisations and individuals. It is unclear what the outcome of this decision will be, or if the school will eventually change its position.