Open letter to Cheryl Regehr from Ryan Culpepper, Vice Chair of Unit 1 and Chief Negotiator for Unit 1. (PDF)

Sorry I went to bed shortly after this.

I think that the union is actively pushing to change this by tying to force the university to admit and act on the fact that we are much more than part time employees. They're asking for us to be funded more fairly. The whole "hourly rate" thing is complete baloney and everyone knows it but my supervisors and the administration love to trot it out as an example of how handsomely we are paid. Please understand I am not saying my supervisors are bad people, but I think they've been guzzling admin Kool-Aid. The reality is that the hourly rate is a fiction that the University uses to make itself look like a generous benefactor.

My union steward is a wonderful person. I haven't filed any kind of grievance for a couple reasons. 1) You can't really prove it either way. And even if you prove that you worked the extra hours, you have to prove that you did so because the work demanded it and not because you're a shitty teacher. 3) As a single person, there isn't much that I can do. I have spoken about it. I once made the mistake of blurting out loud at a meeting with faculty and TAs "Why do we even have this hourly breakdown? We all know these hours are bogus, right guys?" (It is so painfully obvious on the contract that I thought it would be fine to say so. Apparently not.) and the tension in the room instantly skyrocketed. At best I get my hours reduced and a different TA gets put on the tail end of my class and then they have to work even more hours. You've seen how the university has treated us as a large group complaining about our working conditions. What do you think they would do to me as a lone individual? 4) I'm not trying to fix this just for me. It needs to be fixed for everyone. I am a teacher by trade. I am used to this. On a personal level, I am mostly fine with working more in order to add value to my UG's experiences and education. What I'm not fine with is when the University uses a fake hourly wage that they know we aren't even close to making (let's be honest. This happens everywhere on campus and everyone knows it) in order to discredit our complaints about working conditions. That is really wrong.

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