Associated Press Professors who struck for 29 days defied their union leadership yesterday and rejected a contract proposal from Temple University. The union members voted 283-130 against a four-year proposal that offered 5 percent annual increases plus a 1 percent increase during the second year and a 2 percent raise during the fourth year. Terms of the proposal were made public by both sides yesterday night. ''They hated it,'' said Arthur Hochner, president of Temple Association of University Professionals, which represents 1,100 professors and academic professionals. ''They thought it stank.'' The union struck September 4 after rejecting an administration offer of straight 5 percent annual pay increases. The walkout ended October 3 after a judge ordered professors to return to their classrooms. Hochner, a member of the negotiating team that reached the tentative agreement last week, said he recommended it to the members. ''I thought it was the best we could do under the circumstances,'' he said. Temple spokesman George Ingram criticized other members of the union's executive committee whom he said did not support the contract agreement. Richard Fox, chairman of Temple's board of trustees, released a statement saying the professors' rejection of the proposal ''was both irresponsible and extremely damaging to the university that employs them and to the student body.'' Hochner said negotiators should return to the bargaining table to try to reach a new agreement, but Fox's statement offered little encouragement. ''There is little if anything left to discuss,'' he said. ''The board of trustees of Temple University has no choice but to completely rethink its response, with the long-term good of the university as its single objective.'' Ingram softened the statement. ''We're not going to shoot from the hip tonight,'' he said yesterday. ''We will study what the options are, then move accordingly. It's a major disappointment for everyone at Temple.'' Ingram said the re-opening of negotiations will be up to the state mediator. ''But I don't think there are many options,'' he said. He said the university has already lost 4,000 of its 35,000 students. The contract proposal included 5 percent raises starting in September of 1990 and 1991 and in July of 1992 and 1993. The additional pay raises would take effect in January of the second and fourth years. The school also would establish a $1.75 million pool for salary adjustments, $950,000 of which would be controlled by the deans and provost to be given to faculty based on performance, according to Hochner. The remaining $800,000 would be given to faculty with the lowest salaries. The agreement included a $260 annual contribution to the health plan in all but the first year of the contract, a provision the faculty strongly opposed when it was proposed before the strike. Hochner said negotiators had agreed to set up a joint advisory committee on health care costs. On the issue of extra pay to professors required to make up classes missed during the strike, the university agreed to pay one-third their regular wage. The union had demanded full pay. ''That was very galling,'' Hochner said.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.