Temple University and the union that represents adjunct faculty have reached a tentative agreement that would increase salaries over the next two years, both sides announced Thursday.
The tentative contract is the first for part-time instructors since they voted to be represented by the Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP) in late 2015.
Although no date has been set, members are scheduled to vote on the contract in the next 30 days.
"After more than a year of negotiations, Temple University and TAUP are pleased to announce a tentative agreement on a two-year contract with adjunct faculty," Brandon Lausch, a Temple spokesman, said.
Under the tentative agreement, the minimum salary for the approximately 1,400 adjunct faculty would increase from $1,300 per credit hour to $1,425 in the 2017-18 academic year. The amount would rise to a minimum of $1,500 per credit hour in 2018-19.
"All told, that is a little over a 15 percent raise," TAUP president Steve Newman said Thursday. "We think adjuncts at Temple who are entrusted with so many students are worth more, but this is a start."
As is the case at universities nationwide, Temple has relied on part-time faculty to shoulder an increasing share of the teaching responsibilities.
The tentative agreement also would provide continued stability and salary increases for the 1,400 full-time faculty, librarians and academic professionals represented by TAUP.
The agreement would add a third year to the existing two-year contract for full-timers, which had been scheduled to expire in October 2018.
If ratified, the contract would give full-timers a 1.6-percent across-the-board increase on July 1, 2018 plus merit raises of between 1.25 percent and 1.75 percent, at the discretion of their deans.
Going forward, the union will negotiate with Temple for a single contract for both part-timers and full-time faculty.
"We are one union," Newman said.
Both adjuncts and full-time faculty will have an opportunity to vote on the contract.
"Adjunct faculty members are integral to our educational community and contribute a diverse range of perspectives, expertise and skills," Lausch said. "We have been committed to a contract that includes and honors our adjunct faculty members while continuing to support the needs of full-time faculty and, ultimately, our students. We believe this agreement is fair to all members of TAUP and look forward to its ratification."
The tentative agreement also calls for the creation of a joint committee of faculty and Temple administrators that would explore increasing job security for adjuncts. The committee would be required to submit a report to Temple and the union within a year.
"We have some adjuncts who have been teaching for 40 years," Newman said. "They deserve some job security."