Graduate students at Temple University have been on strike since the end of January, seeking an increase in wages, more affordable healthcare, longer parental and bereavement leave, and better working conditions.
Faculty in the Department of Philosophy at Temple have issued a statement in support of their graduate student workers. Dated February 10th, it states:
As members of the Department of Philosophy faculty, we support the demands of the Temple University Graduate Students’ Association (TUGSA) in their current contract negotiations with the University. We also strongly oppose the University’s revocation of striking graduate students’ tuition and health insurance benefits. Our graduate students rely on Temple health insurance to meet their basic healthcare needs. Directly threatening the health and welfare of members of our student body evidences a disregard for our community and undercuts the University’s claims to care about equity.
Graduate workers are a key part of our department and our university: without them, we are not able to complete our own research, mentor undergraduate students, or effectively teach students in our courses. For over a year, TUGSA has put forward proposals to ensure fair wages, working conditions, dependent health care coverage, and leave policies for graduate TAs and RAs. These proposals would improve the lives of graduate workers, as well as benefiting our department and enhancing the quality of undergraduate instruction.
We believe that the members of TUGSA, even while they are on strike, remain Temple graduate students, and we hope that the University will refrain from unnecessarily harsh or disrespectful treatment of them.
Eli Alshanetsky, Philip Atkins, Katie Brennan, César Cabezas, Lee-Ann Chae, Eugene Chislenko, Paul Crowe, Kristin Gjesdal, Espen Hammer, Brian Hutler, Miriam Solomon, and David Wolfsdorf
Department of Philosophy, Temple University
You can learn more about the strike here.