Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants are members of our full-time bargaining unit, which includes tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track full time faculty. TAs/GAs joined Rutgers AAUP-AFT in 1972. Our unity with the full-time faculty has meant decades of advocacy on issues facing graduate employees, such as workload protections, fair compensation, and employment support that has good working conditions in order to learn on-the-job and protect our time so we can also make good progress towards earning our degrees.
Rutgers Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants (TAs/GAs) wear two hats: graduate student and educator. As university employees, our 1,800 TAs/GAs devote an average of 15 hours per week to teaching and research, and serve either a 12-month calendar year appointment or a 10-month academic year appointment.
Rights & Benefits
Salary: With the 2018-2022 contract, TA/GA salaries increase approximately 16%. Academic Year salaries go from $25,969 to $30,162 over the course of the contract, while Calendar Year salaries go from $29,604 to $33,999 over the contract term. TA/GAs may be paid above the minimum base salary rate, which shall become the individual base salary for future appointments. (Article 8, Part 3)
Health Insurance: TA/GAs who hold less than a full-time appointment may enroll at no cost to them in the Rutgers University Fellows Student Health Insurance Plan or its successor; full-time TA/GAs are eligible for the health insurance plans available to other full-time faculty. (Article 8, Part 4)
Protections Against Harassment/Discrimination: This contract establishes written procedures to ensure a safe workplace, free of sexual harassment and stalking, gender/gender identity discrimination, and racial discrimination; it prohibits bias based on religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, and any other legally protected status. (Article 4)
Workload Cap: TA/GAs shall be required to work no more than an average of fifteen hours per week; graduate employees should monitor their hours and provide evidence if required to work longer hours on a regular basis. (Article 12C).
Appeal/Grievance Procedure: The 2018-2022 contract contains a process designed to expedite the resolution of problems that arise in connection with the reappointment of Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants. (Article 23)
Expanded TA/GA Job Protections: All grads performing bargaining unit work (who are in the first five years of their program or ABD) must be classified and compensated as Teaching Assistants or Graduate Assistants, and must not be misclassified as Part-Time Lecturers (PTLs) without benefits. (Article 12A)
Academic Freedom: For the first time in our history, academic freedom is recognized for all unit members and expressly applies to social media. (Article 2)
In-State Tuition: In a victory previously won away from the table, Rutgers no longer charges GAs out-of-state tuition on grants managed by faculty. In-state tuition applies to all TAs/GAs, including international scholars.
6 weeks or longer of paid recuperative leave for birth-mother; eligibility for an additional 8 weeks for parental release time for a total of up to 14 weeks (one semester) of time off for birth-mother but parental leave is also available to any parent, regardless of gender, for bonding with child, adopted or new-born. GUIDELINES FOR TA/GA USE OF PAID FAMILY LEAVE
The TA/GA Steering Committee meets monthly during the semester (and more often when a specific campaign is underway) to work together to articulate graduate worker issues. We have a strong working relationship with the Graduate Student Association (GSA), which deals with academic issues for all graduate students under the authority of the Graduate School. TA/GAs also select members to serve on the Executive Council of the AAUP-AFT.
Graduate Steering Committee members
Ian Schlegel, Biochemistry & Microbiology
Danyel Ferrari, Journalism & Media Studies
Jordan Goodwin, School of Social Work
Ian Gavigan, History
Dilara Demir, Sociology
Phela Townsend, School of Management & Labor Relations
Alexandra Adams, Biological Sciences
Soili Smith, American Studies
Kathleen Farley, Biological Sciences
Kacey Doran, Childhood Studies