The Teaching Assistants Association will be protesting in front of Bascom Hall Nov. 18 to criticize a new University of Wisconsin policy to restructure graduate student compensation.
In a statement, the association said the proposed policy would “radically restructure graduate employee pay.” TAA’s rally would encourage UW administration to abandon the proposal and instead raise wages for all graduate students on campus.
The association fears some graduate students could potentially lose their jobs due to the restructuring, and they ask for a say in UW’s proposal changes before they are made.
But UW spokesperson John Lucas said the policy would only affect graduate research assistants and would have no impact on their pay.
“The change almost exclusively relates to a change in the administrative process by which the graduate research assistant stipends are set,” Lucas said in an email to The Badger Herald. “The change will have no impact on the take-home pay or benefits of RAs.”
He added that no graduate students will lose their jobs because of the policy change.
Still, a major part of TAA’s concern is not having a say in the discussion on the change.
Sara Goldrick-Rab, UW professor of sociology and educational policy studies, raised this concern, saying TAA has not been allowed to be involved in any talks regarding changes to their pay.
TAA co-president Cynthia Burnson said she believes that many of the problems graduate students see with the policy could have been avoided had they been involved in the policy discussion.
“Having graduate students in on the ground floor could have avoided a lot of the problems that happened with the policy so far,” Burnson said.
According to Lucas, before the policy is made official in May 2017, an implementation committee will be created to communicate the policy to campus. Lucas added that TAA has been invited to have a representative on the committee.
The TAA rally will be at noon, Nov. 18, on Bascom Hill.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted from TAA’s statement. The Badger Herald regrets this error.