College News

Petition circulates in support of un-hired faculty assistants involved in equal pay campaign

At the Faculty Senate meeting, UW-Madison sociology professor informed the body about a petition circulating in protest of two teaching assistant faculty who were not hired into their program. 

Image By: Ally Dweck

A petition is circulating in protest of the university’s treatment of two faculty assistants — Alyssa Franze and Jambul Akkaziev — who were notified that they would not be hired to their program after being involved in the “fair and equitable campaign” last spring.

According to Franze, the two had a combined 13 years of service.

“This had led me to believe that if I exercise my voice in my workplace and if I join [in] with the voices of labor unions and shared governance, I will be punished,” Franze said.

Even though FAs teach the same classes as TAs, they are still paid at a lower rate. In April, the Faculty Senate passed the resolution, which called for FAs’ pay to match that of TAs, after other bodies such as the Teaching Assistant Association and the Associated Students of Madison endorsed it. 

An experienced FA would make $31,292 annually when teaching at 100 percent capacity, lower than a senior TA who would make $36,133 at 75 percent capacity, The Daily Cardinal reported

“Until last year, the message I was getting from the university was that despite my education, despite my qualifications and my experience, the work that I did was less important and less valuable than that of my graduate student colleagues,” Franze said.

UW-Madison sociology professor Chad Goldberg said that currently, only faculty assistants in the College of Letters and Science are receiving this new pay rate.

Goldberg said while changing the pay of Letters and Science faculty assistants is a commendable step, it is still not enough and what happened to Franze and Akkaziev was “not in the spirit of [the resolution].”

“That resolution sends an important message — a unified message — from both academic staff and faculty about the kind of university where we want to work, the university that recognizes the value of everyone’s contributions here, including those of faculty assistants,” Goldberg said.

UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone declined to comment.

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