Pay UC Lecturers More Than Graduate Students Instructors

UC-AFT Take Action

UC-AFT lecturers teach 30-40% of the credit hours in the UC, and yet we are severely undervalued for the work we do. The recent strike and victory of the UC-UAW has made especially visible longstanding inequities between lecturers and our graduate student colleagues. While we believe the increased compensation UC-UAW fought so hard for was well-deserved, the UC administration has failed to show its teaching faculty the same respect. There are UC-AFT lecturers on campuses across the state being paid less for the classes they design, develop, and teach than the teaching assistants who support them. There are also lecturers being paid less for teaching the exact same class that a Graduate Student Instructor teaches.

Here is one case among many:

Amanda Reiterman (Ph.D.)—Lecturer in Literature and History at UC Santa Cruz—recently resigned from a 120-person lecture course she was scheduled to teach when she learned that her teaching assistants would earn $300 more per month than she would. This is because Amanda is credited for 37.5% time for leading her course, while her TA receives credit for 50% time for supporting it. One of her TAs had been an undergraduate sitting in her classroom just a year earlier. The Literature Department refused to revise her pay or increase her workload credit to reflect her greater responsibility in the planning and management of the course. They were told they couldn’t fix the problem, but in fact, they could have.

Such disparities reflect the UC administration's refusal to negotiate fair workload standards that encompass all of the work we do outside classroom hours and devalue our skills and experience as educators--and contravene the UC's stated commitments to collaboration, equity, and teaching excellence.

The university has a number of immediate steps it can take to correct the pay "inversion" that currently affects many lecturers:

  1. Departments can offer lecturers a pay adjustment. There is nothing in the UC-AFT contract that prevents revised appointment letters and/or adjustments to pay rates off-cycle.
  2. Departments can adjust the workload evaluation of a given course. If the work associated with a class is greater than the compensation, the University has the power to adjust the “instructional workload credit” (IWC) assigned to any course to ensure parity in terms of appointment percentage and compensation.
  3. Article 24.B of our contract allows for the assignment of "workload equivalencies" which simply adds to the valuation of the course for performing certain types of additional work. Working with and mentoring TAs is one such justification.

Send a letter to the UC Executive Vice Chancellors and Provosts demanding they take all necessary steps to ensure no lecturer is paid less than their TA. Join UC-AFT in fighting for a UC where experience is valued, where all teaching faculty are treated equitably, and where every worker is treated with dignity and respect.