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March 18, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Scales Out of Balance

Scientists PAID more than lawyers

Tutors have been left scratching their heads as pay disparities come to light, with Salient discovering tutors with similar experience and responsibilities are being paid vastly different hourly rates between faculties and schools.

A fourth-year Honours Law student tutoring 300-level Law is on $17.54, 25 per cent less than a Faculty of Science Honours student tutoring at 300-level, who was offered $23.50 up-front.

“As far as I know, that’s the going rate across the school—though I don’t know if there’s any differences across what we’re paid for tutoring courses at different levels, or if it varies depending on what qualifications we have,” he told Salient.

One Political Science tutor reported to Salient that he is on an hourly rate of $20.75, which has increased each trimester from his starting rate of $17.50. Another POLS and Film tutor was on between $19 and $20 during his tenure for both positions.

The Tutors’ Collective Employment Agreement for 2013 states that undergraduate tutors are to be paid at rates between $17.54 and $21.09 per hour, and $19.87 to $25.16 per hour for graduate tutors.

It also states that “when determining the hourly rate, relevant qualifications, relevant experience and any additional duties shall be taken into account.”

The Collective Agreement is negotiated between the University and the Tertiary Education Union.

Director of Human Resources Annemarie de Castro told Salient responsibility for pay disparities lies at the school level.

“Heads of School are responsible for the employment of tutors in their respective School,” she said.

The University did not respond to questions regarding which faculties spent the most and least money per tutor.

Victoria’s tutor pay rates compare favourably to those of Otago, where, as of January 1 2013, an undergraduate tutor is generally paid $14.17 an hour and a graduate tutor $17.73. A Masters graduate would be paid $21.74 an hour, and a graduate with a Doctorate or a senior PHD student $28.44 an hour. The Otago guidelines state that placement on the pay scale may vary as educational qualification “is only one of the criteria to be considered”.

Salient suggests that instead of schools deciding tutors’ pay, hourly rates should be contingent on words spoken per student per tutorial—a measure sure to reduce expenditure across the board.

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