Note that these results are simply a collation of the responses received from the GTAs who responded to the survey. This article was altered on November 5th 2012: the reference to named universities in the original article has been removed
We asked UK and Ireland post-graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) in Philosophy departments 4 questions:
We received 72 responses from GTAs at 28 universities in the UK and Ireland. This is a small study, potentially a pilot, designed to open conversation. We undertook the study after our members raised GTA pay as an issue.
Before moving onto the results, we want to point out that we are not attributing responsibility for GTA pay at the institutions mentioned to the Philosophy departments at these universities.
The current UK minimum wage is £6.08 per hour. According to the responses in our survey 11 universities (on average) failed to pay their postgrad teaching assistants minimum wage in real terms—out of 28 in our survey (minus two from which data was not analysable).
1 further London university failed to pay the London living wage of £8.20.
Rate of Pay per hour taught
The rates of pay per hour taught varied enormously from under £12 with no additional pay for preparation or marking and no additional holiday pay, to £13 per hour taught with additional pay for preparation and marking, and additional holiday pay, to £36.60 per hour with no additional pay for preparation or marking, and no additional holiday pay.
Real Pay Per Hour
According to our survey 5 universities pay less than £5 per hour in real terms.
A problem with the survey: Why the real wage averages might be lower than the survey indicates
One problem with the survey is that the third question was ambiguous between ‘hours in addition to teaching,’ and ‘hours including teaching.’ We’ve interpreted the results as answering the question, ‘how many hours per one hour paid do you work including the one hour paid for teaching’ except where the respondent obviously did not interpret the question this way—such as when they responded with a number less than 1.
One particular university, which will remain unnamed, presents a great case study. We received 14 individual responses from 'unnamed university'. From the responses, 'unnamed university' pays £13 per hour of teaching time at the most. The responses varied in terms of how many hours GTAs spent working including preparation per hour paid. The most someone spent was 6 hours per hour taught, that is, £2.17 per hour in real terms. The least someone spent was 1.5 hours, that is, £8.60 per hour in real terms. The average rate per hour in real terms at 'unnamed university' was £4.79.
Average GTA Hours worked per hour paid for teaching (Among those not paid for marking and prep): 3.77