Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Student Sallary

I just got out of a budget meeting. The issue of our payscales has recently come up because the incoming TA's couldn't really afford to live here. I was amazed to learn how different the various astronomy programs are as far as payscale goes. I make 18K on an 11 month, half-time stipend. If you scale the top paying university (Arizona) for cost of living it's more like 40K. (It's actually 21k or so, but rent here is 700 for a studio next to a crack dealer and rent in the desert is about a dollar) There trying to get a 15-20% pay raise for the older grads and something more like 30% for the incoming "protograds". They accepted some ridiculous number of students last year and only got 6. I've also been amazed at the inter-department differences too. Sallaries are ranked in steps. The old cap was 9 but they just added 5 more 4% steps to it. All the faculty here were behind raising all of us to step 13. The strange part is that this is more money than chemistry post-docs make. The physics TA's are at step 3, basically near the poverty line. It's amazing how within the sciences, at one university, grad students can go from 14K to 25K pay for the same type of work. I guess that just says something about "market forces" to quote our admin guy. It's also funny how tiny that is in a department with a 10 million dollar budget..... Anywas, long story short is I might get more cash come july. Yipee!


Blogger Liz said...

It's about damn time!! I'm sick of coverin' your ass! buying drinks.. taking you to dinner.. 'but Liz (whine), that shirt's so *shiny*!!'

just kidding =) I'm just excited that maybe you'll get to eating something other than canned tuna and seaweed.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Diane Harrington said...

you are worth every penny of it! Market forces will be interesting. In 2 years the competition where I work may actually improve my money we will see. Most of the nurses I talk to plan on leaving and management appears oblivious. I can't wait to see it happen. Our boss actually tried to threaten us with losing our jobs when the competition arrives what a hoot! The staff just laughed and told her they would be working at the competition

7:25 AM  

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