Marxist Students have lent their support and solidarity to a campaign at King’s College London (KCL) fighting to achieve fair pay and reasonable working conditions for part-time student staff.
General Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are widely-exploited by university management as a source of cheap labour, being saddled with complex duties including marking, lesson planning and seminar leading at a fraction of the wages of full-time academics.
A report, published in March by KCL GTAs, collated responses to an online survey of over 400 graduate teaching assistants and PhD students at KCL in February 2015. The results paint a grim picture, with 96% of respondents claiming to work beyond their contracted hours, 82% working unpaid overtime when preparing for classes (61% for marking) and 39% of respondents claiming that low pay and poor working conditions adversely affect the quality of their marking and feedback.
The action at KCL is being conducted in collaboration with Fighting Against Casualisation in Education (FACE), an organisation that is currently fighting to improve pay and conditions for part-time teaching staff across Britain.
The campaigners are currently amassing email addresses for a petition, to be brought before KCL management, please show your solidarity by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a free and fair education system wrested from the shackles of the economic bottom line!
by Joe Attard, KCL Marxists