Faculty assistants from the University of Wisconsin College of Letters and Sciences looked to the Associated Students of Madison for support as they demanded higher salaries Wednesday.
One English as a Second Language faculty assistant, Jambul Akkaziev, expressed his concern about the inequity salary.
“We work as hard as the [teaching assistants] but what we get paid is peanuts,” Akkaziev said. “The TA salaries are atrocious — ours are even lower.”
Similar to teaching assistants, faculty assistants are instructional staff who teach labs, individual sections and discussions.
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Currently, there are 62 faculty assistants at UW. Their annual salaries range from $27,000 to $30,000, while the standard salary for teaching assistants is $32,000.
At the meeting, faculty assistants demanded a $5,000 increase. They also said they are in communication with Laurent Heller, UW’s vice chancellor of finance and administration.
In an email interview with The Badger Herald, Heller said the university “very much” appreciates the contributions faculty assistants make to UW’s mission.
At the moment, Heller said his department is analyzing the faculty assistant compensation issue and are consulting with schools and colleges on campus that employ them to determine what can be done.
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“The university has been benefitting from us and we aren’t given our fair share — this is about justice,” Akkaziev said.
Akkaziev said he hoped if more voices are added to their cause, their case might gain some weight. At the moment, the Teaching Assistants Association have expressed support for their cause.
ASM is the first shared governance body with which the faculty assistants have raised this issue, but they are planning to contact others as well, Akkaziev said.
The faculty assistants requested ASM write a letter to Heller and pass a resolution in the student council endorsing their fight for pay equity. At this point, ASM hasn’t passed any resolutions on this issue.
ASM Chair Carmen Goséy said she intends to receive the resolution back from United Faculty and Academic Staff Friday. She said she will present the resolution to student council to officially adopt next Wednesday.
“I strongly believe this is an equity and justice issue,” Goséy said. “I stand with the faculty assistants’ demand.”