Teachers College Ph.D candidates working as course assistants should be compensated as much as their colleagues in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Continuing concerns about unfair workloads for course assistants, under-compensation, and the state of the budget at Teachers College in the wake of a $300 million fundraising initiative have some students seeking their own answers to their complaints.
Administrators believe a 2010 study that showed pay disparities among Columbia researchers is outdated, and are conducting a new study before modifying existing conditions.
A newly formed student group is supporting the Barnard workers, whose contract expired in May and whose temporary contract will expire Oct. 9.
According to members of Local 21110, Barnard has proposed freezing wages for three years, reducing retirement benefits, and increasing employees’ pension contributions.
Teachers College TAs have expressed frustration that their pay is significantly lower than that of Columbia TAs—who are typically paid about $5,000 per class—even though they say they do just as much work.
Career choices should be dependent on passion, not salary.
Few would imagine that college professors are raking in the bills during a severe economic downturn. Yet one Columbia professor is doing just that. Some University employees are making far more than many might expect—sometimes, as in the case of David Silvers, as much as $4.3 million in 2007.
I write on behalf of concerned members of the Columbia employee community.
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