I have not had a raise in four years, not even a cost of living adjustment/raise to keep up with inflation. Instead, the university gave us a pay cut last year by making us pay for our parking (about $180 per semester) when we didn’t have to do that before. Taking public transportation is not an option in my city so I don’t have a choice but to drive. I drive 1.5 hours a day to teach one or two classes and then drive another 1.5 hours to get home.
My salary for teaching a class is the same amount that ONE student pays to take my class. I teach anywhere from 20-30 students, bringing in 20-30 times the amount of money that the university pays me. If the university doubled my pay, it wouldn’t make much of a dent in their pockets but would significantly improve the quality of my life (even though it would still be nothing for the work that I do).
During what is supposed to be my highest earning years, I am earning less than I’ve ever earned in my whole life. I am making $18,000 a year but bringing in anywhere from $18,000 x 20 to $18,000 x 30 (that is somewhere between $360,000 to $540,000) to the university. If they paid me $60,000, they would still make somewhere between $300,000 – $480,000. This would give me a living wage and it would still make the university a lot of profit…even though it’s a non-profit. The irony!