Temple University Graduate Students Ratify New Agreement, End Strike

The four-year agreement includes pay raises and improved dependent health care and working conditions.
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Published on March 14, 2023
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  • The six-week strike ended Mar. 9 with a ratified agreement between the union and the university.
  • The new four-year agreement goes into effect immediately and includes significant wage increases.
  • The union rejected the first agreement Temple proposed last month.

Graduate students at Temple University voted to approve a new collective bargaining agreement with the university, ending a 42-day strike.

The Temple University Graduate Students' Association (TUGSA) on Mar. 9 voted 344 to 8 to ratify the agreement. The union last month voted 352 to 30 to reject another proposal and to continue the walkout.

The new four-year agreement goes into effect immediately. It includes a market adjustment to pay "with significant wage increases in the first year followed by substantial raises in subsequent years," according to TUGSA. The agreement also includes some health care coverage for dependents, increased parental and bereavement leave.

"We bravely went on strike on Jan. 31 and spent the next 42 days on strike," TUGSA tweeted. "Administration cut our healthcare without notification, rescinded our tuition remission, threatened our visa status, and yet, the strike grew every day."

TUGSA in a tweet thanked several unions, political leaders, and students who supported the strike, and called out the university for its negotiation tactics. In the first week of February, Temple ended tuition remissions and health care coverage for some striking graduate workers.

"Despite unprecedented retaliation and intimidation, not to mention the cowardice and cruelty of @TempleUniv admin, we won transformative changes to our CBA that allow us to keep building and organizing in the years ahead" the union tweeted.

Temple President Jason Wingard, for his part, sent an email to the university community thanking those involved in negotiations and acknowledging "the university's respect for its graduate students and their work."

"Over the past six weeks, Temple demonstrated remarkable resilience," Wingard wrote. "Perseverance conquers, and today's agreement is evidence of our collective willingness to unite and advance."