As you may (or may not) know, the administration has established a 19.5-hour-per-week cap on student employment in University positions, including library assistants, editorial assistants, research assistants, and other hourly jobs. In the past, since teaching labor was not calculated by the hour, it did not count against the 19.5-hour cap, which allowed students to supplement limited teaching income with other UChicago jobs.
This year, an unknown group of administrators decided to change that.Without consulting graduate students themselves (or, it seems, faculty or staff), they implemented a new payroll software system called Workday, and have used it to institute a new policy that counts TA and lecturer positions as 11-to-13-hour-per-week positions. (Who decided on this number? That’s not clear, though it certainly seems unrealistically, indeed, disrespectfully, low.) The 19.5-hour restriction leaves students who have teaching jobs with only 6.5 to 8.5 hours per week for other campus employment.
The results are already being felt: many students with library positions have had to quit those jobs, at the risk of losing their TAships and lectureships. (The pay for TAships and lectureships, meanwhile, remains stagnant at $3,000 and $5,000 per course.) And, of course, this comes on top of the health insurance deductible increase. Not only student are incomes hurt by this policy change, but library staff are now scrambling to fill vacant positions. Meanwhile, GSU organizers have begun to hear from even more students who have lost jobs or fear that they will have to choose between teaching and other paid university work in the future. Are you impacted, or are others in your department? Please write us and let us know!