Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants are represented by 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 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.
You can read the full text of the Tentative Agreement for the new full-time faculty and graduate worker contract that our union ratified last Spring. The final text of the full contract will be posted when it is available. Click here to read a summary of all the articles in the TA. And click here to read highlights of the Tentative Agreements for all our unions.
Know Your Contract, Know Your Rights
Our Contract Enforcement/Grievance team has compiled answers to the questions they hear most often about major provisions in our contract and university policies that may affect you. These questions and answers are your first stop if you want to know about your rights under our contract. Note: this FAQ does not reflect the changes won in our new contract, but you are still likely to find the answer to many of your questions here.
Find out how our union helps graduate workers find solutions to problems they face in the workplace—informal solutions if possible, but also through one of two negotiated grievance procedures.
TA/GA Steering Committee
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. Members of the TA/GA Steering Committee also serve on the Executive Council of the AAUP-AFT, along with the union’s Vice President for Graduate Workers.
Ten Reasons Grad Workers Join Our Union
Our union is one of the strongest in US higher education, with a long history of accomplishments, including:
- Living wage: One of the highest salaries for grad workers of any university in the country, reaching $40,000 a year at the end of the current contract. Increase of 54 percent over two contracts covering eight years.
- Quality Health Insurance: Access to the same state health insurance program as full-time faculty.
- Support for All Grads: Contract guarantees five years of funding for PhD candidates throughout the Rutgers system.
- Advocacy for Grad Fellows: New contract provision establishes a process to win reclassification (with increased pay and state health insurance) for grad fellowss who are doing the work of TAs and GAs.
- Legal Support for International Grad Workers: Drawing on legal expertise within our union and from our International.
- Strong Benefits: From caregiver support to protections against unsafe working conditions.
- Job Protections: Strong grievance procedure to defend TAs/GAs.
- United for Rutgers Educators: One of the few higher ed unions that unites full-time faculty, graduate workers, and postdocs, giving Rutgers AAUP-AFT more power to fight for all. Close coordination with adjunct and biomedical faculty unions and other unions representing workers at Rutgers.
- Member-Led Unionism: Commitment to member leadership in all aspects of the union and democratic decision-making.
- Social Justice and Support for Our Students: Actively building solidarity with our students and the communities around our campuses to achieve a better Rutgers for everyone.
We represent all graduate workers, members or not, but we’re more effective fighting for everyone’s benefit and a better Rutgers when we organize together. If you haven’t joined your union yet, you can do so by clicking here.