Campus, News

Teaching assistants in Questrom School of Business face payment difficulties

Teaching Assistants in Boston University Questrom School of Business have said they reportedly faced difficulties getting paid for working. Several Questrom TAs have detailed issues with how long it takes for them to get paid or discrepancies with the amount they are paid.

Isabella Previte, a senior in Questrom and TA for Questrom Core Classes, said she had difficulties with getting paid on time.

Questrom School of Business
The Questrom School of Business at Boston University. Questrom Teaching Assistants reported problems with receiving payments for courses on time. MOLLY POTTER/DFP STAFF

“The process of getting paid took about eight weeks for us to get our first paycheck, so we got paid for all of those eight weeks at one time,” Previte said. “It was kind of inconvenient to have to wait eight weeks.”

Baxter Bervar, a senior and teaching assistant in Questrom, said he had issues getting paid only when he was a TA for SM 131 class.

“We didn’t get paid for the first three weeks of school,” Bervar said. “That’s never been an issue I faced with any other class, it was exclusively with (SM) 131.”

Student Employment Office deferred to BU spokesperson Colin Riley, who wrote in an email he wouldn’t comment regarding this issue.

Bervar added TAs have previously been paid late and one of the reasons was because some TAs have had trouble getting on Questrom’s payroll.

“I think it was like four weeks into the Fall before we got paid,” Bervar said. “Even in the spring, we were still having issues with TAs being on the payroll.”

Bervar said in the Spring, TAs were paid less than the Massachusetts minimum wage of $14.25 an hour.

“In the Spring, we were getting like $13 an hour,” Bervar said. “They raised the pay scale but then cut the amount of hours we’re getting paid for, so we were actually making on average, like $3 less a week and that was really frustrating for people.”

Previte said there is no system for TAs to account for their hours, as they receive a set amount of compensation for the semester.

“It would be nice to be able to put our hours in and just make sure we are getting paid for all of the work that we’re doing instead of a set amount,” Previte said.

Sam Becher, a senior in Questrom and a TA, said that the University failing to issue stipends on time for TAs has been continuing for the past two years.

“I’ve done the job for two years and each year in the Fall semester they wait until like halfway through the semester (for the first payment),” Becher said.

Beverly Liu, a senior and a TA in Questrom, said regardless of the payment amount, the workload for TAs differs between courses.

“It’s highly variable, the workload between courses, especially in Questrom Core (classes) is really different,” she said.

Liu said one of her colleagues quit their job as a TA this semester because of the difference in payment they received compared to other jobs on campus.

“When she was comparing to the other courses she’s TAed for, she’s gotten paid more by week. So for her, the workload to payment amount wasn’t worth it, which is why she’s leaving,” Liu said.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Student Employment Office as Questrom’s Student Employment Office. The article has been updated to reflect this change.

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