Tuesday, February 24, 2015

UA Adjunct Walkout Happening Tomorrow: A Demand for Better Wages, Working Conditions & No More Bullshit

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge University of Arizona's Old Main. - MARIA INÉS TARACENA
  • Maria Inés Taracena
  • University of Arizona's Old Main.

Here's the thing about adjunct faculty and working graduate students who are teaching assistants: they save the University of Arizona good money.

Last week, I reported that merely about 25 percent of the UA's budget expenditures goes toward instruction: wages to TAs, adjunct staff, and others at the forefront of students' education, who oftentimes work equally as much and as hard as an actual professor whose salary could be near or in the six digits.

These groups are stronger than ever, especially after news of more budget cuts coming to the UA (could be about $22 million if Gov. Doug Ducey's wish is granted), demanding the UA administration transparency to know where the hell the remaining 75 percent of the money is going. 

Classrooms feel these budget cuts the most, so why not include adjunct, TAs, or undergrads trying to make ends meet, in the conversations of how the shortfall absorption plays out within the institution?

In the meantime, the Arizona Board of Regents approves bonuses for UA President Ann Weaver Hart, who's salary package is already near the $500,000 realm, as thanks for her "accomplishments." Last year, she got a $40,000 bonus. ABOR is also put in a difficult position, where they propose a budget for the universities, but the state Legislature has the last word on the cuts...It's just a mess.

This is exactly the reason I ignore all envelopes I get from the UA asking me to donate money as a former student, because it doesn't end up in the classrooms. A lot of it ends up in big, fat salaries for the administration, and they couldn't be more detached from the reality of adjunct, grads and undergrads.

Tomorrow is National Adjunct Walkout Day, a form of protest that's been greatly promoted by the Service Employees International Union—a group fighting for better wages, benefits, among other demands in academic jobs—and the UA adjunct is officially participating, as well as graduate students and all other allies.

From the event's Facebook page:
We know the University of Arizona greatly values its students and recognizes the direct link between student learning outcomes and teachers’ working conditions. Let’s come together to re-commit to education and all Wildcats.

Please join your fellow faculty, staff, students, and community members and don’t forget to wear red to show your support!
The event is happening from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Alumni Plaza, near the UA Mall.

The state and the UA have to meditate on the priorities...is it education or is it administrative pay or is it a nice REC Center? 

Also, here is a list of all UA salaries. Have fun. 

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