UNO, Cut the Checks! Pay your Graduate Workers!
We, the graduate students of Chemistry, experience gaps in our pay schedule during the breaks between semesters. These gaps have been occurring since at least 2019. The most recent pay gap will last from December 23rd 2022 until February 3rd of 2023. We were informed of this most recent pay hiatus in detail on December 14th of 2022, informing us that it would be our job to budget appropriately. We find this hiatus and accompanying request unacceptable.
Housing payments do not stop. Food payments do not stop. Medical payments do not stop. Inflation does not stop. Why should we have to suffer such gaps in payment? Why is notice less than a month in advance deemed to be okay?
As graduate students, we already shoulder a large burden being the department's frontline for teaching. Almost all labs and recitations are taught by graduate students. We also produce most of the research. And while doing this we also keep equipment operational. These are all within the purview of being a graduate student. We are vital to the health of the department as we bring funding from research, as well as opportunities for side-by-side learning that students rarely get in larger universities. We are not accountants. We are not business administrators. We are the backbone of the department.
Instead of supporting us, the University has failed us with a repeated lack of payment, a lack of transparency, and onerous fees from the meager checks we receive. After paying for fees and taxes, we are left at barely the poverty level in Louisiana. We’ve received no consistency and no transparency. We cannot live on money that is promised to us, but not given, and thus, we cannot provide the type of education that students are paying for.
We are a very crucial part of the department. We want to be recognized and respected as such. We are asking for what we are entitled to. These monetary oversights are detrimental to the future of the program.
UNO Graduate Workers Committee
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