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.
Read the full text of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT contract with Rutgers governing graduate workers. Rutgers Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants (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.
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.
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. TA/GAs also select members to serve on the Executive Council of the AAUP-AFT.
Highlights of Our Contract for Grad Workers
- Salary: Under the 2018–22 contract, TA/GA salaries increased by approximately 16 percent. Academic Year salaries rose from $25,969 to $30,162 over the course of the contract, and Calendar Year salaries rose from $29,604 to $33,999. TA/GAs may be paid above the minimum base salary rate, and this new rate will become the individual base salary for future appointments. (See Article 8, Part 3)
- Health Insurance: TA/GAs who hold less than a full-time appointment may enroll at no cost to them in the Rutgers University Fellows Student Health Insurance Plan or its successor; full-time TA/GAs are eligible for the health insurance plans available to full-time faculty. (See Article 8, Part 4)
- Protections Against Harassment/Discrimination: Our contract establishes written procedures to ensure a safe workplace, free of sexual harassment and stalking, gender/gender identity discrimination, and racial discrimination; it prohibits bias based on religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, and any other legally protected status. (See Article 4)
- Workload Cap: TA/GAs are required to work no more than an average of fifteen hours per week. Graduate employees should monitor their hours so they can provide evidence if they are required to work longer hours on a regular basis. (See Article 12C)
- Appeal/Grievance Procedure: Our contract contains a process designed to expedite the resolution of workplace problems, including those arising specifically in connection with the reappointment of Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants. (See Articles 9 and 23)
- Expanded TA/GA Job Protections: All grads performing bargaining unit work must be classified and compensated as Teaching Assistants or Graduate Assistants and must not be misclassified as Part-Time Lecturers (PTLs) without benefits. (See Article 12A)
- Academic Freedom: For the first time in our history, academic freedom is recognized for all unit members and expressly applies to social media. (See Article 2)
- In-State Tuition: In a victory won away from the table, Rutgers no longer charges GAs out-of-state tuition on grants managed by faculty. In-state tuition applies to all TAs/GAs, including international scholars.
- Six weeks or longer of paid recuperative leave for the birth-mother and eligibility for an additional eight weeks for parental release time, for a total of up to 14 weeks (one semester) of time off for birth-mother. Parental leave is also available to any parent, regardless of gender for bonding with a child, adopted or newborn.