As the Teaching Assistants for the General Engineering (EG1003) program at New York University, we interact with over 700 incoming students at the Tandon School of Engineering, and strongly influence their overall experience throughout their undergraduate career. As some of the first instructors that students actually work with, there is a lot of pressure on us to make sure that every student is doing well and acclimating fine. We cooperate with these students in many different forms, and develop strong connections with them throughout the semester. However, we are not getting paid nearly enough for all the hard work we do.
Especially after the pandemic started, every single EG1003 TA has put in twice the effort to make sure that their students are doing fine, answering exponentially growing emails and trying to ease the concerns of their classes and college in general. Each TA has gone above and beyond their job description and continues to do more to provide an inclusive and engaging environment for their students. Our 100+ TA's have worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the students, while full-time professors have been increasingly removed from the course. Getting paid a starting salary of $16.50 is extremely low, especially when being compared to the base hourly pay that other departments offer to their student employees. It’s not sufficient for us to continue with the workload we are responsible for. Discussions on increasing this wage have gone nowhere for the past two years, and we are tired of not receiving proper answers or support. We propose a starting salary increase to fairly compensate for the amount of work we put into shaping the experience of first year students at NYU.
Over 10 new teaching assistants for EG1003 quit this year before even starting teaching after receiving a higher offer from a different department. This is unacceptable. Having a third of the new incoming hires quit before even receiving assignments drastically decreases morale, and definitely puts a strain on the remaining TAs. Increasing the starting wage that EG1003 agrees to pay their student employees will reduce the stress that the TAs work in as well as increase the retention rate.
To keep up to date with our movement, follow our Instagram @egtasforfairerpay, and Twitter @EGTAs4FairerPay. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.