If you have questions not answered in our Frequently Asked Questions, you may send us a message at gsacadpers@ucdavis.edu.

Salary Scales & Information

  • When are the contracts effective? Are there any retroactive actions/increases? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: The new contracts are in effect immediately following ratification, December 2022. Some portions of the contracts, including wages, will be phased in over time. There are not retroactive wage agreements. The new salary increases will occur April 1, 2023.

  • When will the new wages be in effect?
  • The initial scale increase for all units will be April 1, 2023 and again each October 1st for the duration of the contracts.  See extended salary scales for budgeting purposes.
  • Will compensation plans be enforceable now with the new contract? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Current GSRs should be placed on the indicated salary point that corresponds to their current or prior GSR step and should continue on this step or higher for future appointments. For new students (entering Fall 23), a department may determine where to place a student on the GSR steps/salary points.

  • What is the new salary for TAs beginning in April 2023? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: See extended salary scales for budgeting purposes.

  • What is the anticipated GSR salary increase for October 2024? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: See extended salary scales for budgeting purposes.

  • Is the time of evaluation the same every year for experiential increases?
  • For Postdoctoral Scholars yes, experiential increases will be implemented in April and October each year.
  • Can we change the step for our current Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) downward?
  • It is not recommended to do so as it is not in the spirit or intention of the agreed upon contract. Newly appointed GSRs may be placed on the scale as appropriate for their experience level.
  • Is there mapping of current Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) steps to the new salary points?
  • Yes, see extended salary scales for budgeting purposes.
  • The mapping that is being explained does not seem to match what is in the contract. Placement on the new scale is based on experience, not on current step, correct? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: The published GSR mapping and scale compression was agreed to during bargaining and mediation and is the required movement for our current cohort of students. Current GSRs should be placed on the indicated salary point that corresponds to their current step and should continue on this step or higher for future appointments. For new students (entering Fall 23), a department may make a determination about where to place a student on the GSR steps/salary points.

  • If we have a new GSR for Spring who would have been at Step 7, we hire them at the new step 4? (i.e. transitioning from TA to GSR for Spring) (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Yes. Current GSRs should be placed on the indicated salary point that corresponds to their current step and should continue on this step or higher for future appointments.

  • Do quarters of experience accrue separately for quarters spent as a TA/AI versus quarters spent as a GSR or is total number of quarters employed in either title? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Quarters of experience are counted separately in the TA/AI classification and GSR classification. They are not a combined total.

  • Do the quarters of experience only apply to the students department/school? Or if they have appointments outside of our school do we need to count those as well? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Experience is counted for experience obtained at their campus, not limited to department/unit/college. Experience does not need to include experience obtained outside of UC Davis. However, nothing prohibits hiring a student at a higher experience level.

  • Does experience prior to UC Count? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Experience is counted for experience obtained at their campus, not limited to department/unit/college. Experience does not need to include experience obtained outside of UC Davis. However, nothing prohibits hiring a student at a higher experience level.

  • Experience steps for GSR only apply for the first 3 steps? After step 4, there are no experience increases? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Yes, the experienced-based movement begins Fall 2023 and requires students with 3 prior quarters of experience in classification at least 25% to be placed at salary point 2 or higher, and students with 6 prior quarters of experience in classification at least 25% to be placed at salary point 3 or higher. There is no further experience-based movement required by the contract.

  • How do we determine which experience step new GSRs should be placed on? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Experience is based on the number of quarters worked by a certain point in time. Beginning October 1, 2023, The review period for increases based on experience will only occur once a year at the end of spring quarter. A GSR with three (3) quarters of experience as a GSR at 25% or higher per term at the same campus will be appointed at Step 2 or higher. A GSR with six (6) quarters of experience as a GSR at 25% or higher per term at the same campus will be appointed at Step 3 or higher. Students may be placed at a step higher (from contract: “At the University’s sole discretion, it may place GSRs at a higher salary point than the minimum”).

  • What process should we follow to assign the appropriate Step on the new scale? Is there a mapping between the old scale and the new, or can the academic unit determine the appropriate step? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Current GSRs should be placed on the indicated salary point that corresponds to their current step and should continue on this step or higher for future appointments. For new students (entering Fall 23), a department may make a determination about where to place a student on the GSR steps/salary points. The percentage appointment should be based on work effort. If the work duties and effort for GSR or ASEs are modified, the percentage appointment may be increased or decreased. Appointment percentage must be commensurate with the hours worked (effort), and not calculated to achieve a gross dollar figure.

  • Are the experienced-based steps only for the first three steps? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Yes, the experienced-based movement begins Fall 2023 and requires students with 3 prior quarters of experience in classification at least 25% to be placed at salary point 2 or higher, and students with 6 prior quarters of experience in classification at least 25% to be placed at salary point 3 or higher. There is no further experience-based movement required by the contract.

  • Are there current tools to help determine prior experience as a TA or GSR? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Currently we are exploring options to add this data to existing systems. Reviewing the Historical Financial Data in Grad Hub will allow you to see prior quarters worked as a GSR/TA/AI.

  • From the contract, it appears the only information we need to take into account is experience when placing a current GSR on the new scale. If placing a GSR on the new scale results in a lower pay rate is that OK? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: No, current GSRs should be placed on the indicated salary point that corresponds to their current step and should continue on this step or higher for future appointments. For new students (entering Fall 23), a department may make a determination about where to place a student on the GSR steps/salary points. The percentage appointment should be based on work effort. If the work duties and effort for GSR or ASEs are modified, the percentage appointment may be increased or decreased. Appointment percentage must be commensurate with the hours worked (effort), and not calculated to achieve a gross dollar figure.

  • If our GSRs are at or above the salary point 4 of the new scale, is there further experience-based movement? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: No further movement is required by the contract. Experience-based movements are only required between salary increments 1-3.

  • If we move a student up in salary point (steps), can we move them back down to a lower step? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Once a student is appointed at a salary point, they should remain at that salary point or greater for all future appointments and no downward movement on the salary point scale should be taken.

Appointment & Hiring

  • Are we still able to specify 25% appointments in our compensation plans, or is 50% considered the “standard”? What about percentages between 25-50%?
  • Graduate students may be appointed between 25-50% time during the academic year. It is important the workload be commensurate with the percent appointment and this be well documented. Full-time equivalent (FTE) should also be in measurable effort, not fractional, like 47.8%.
  • If we have GSRs working less than 50% now, do we need to increase their appointments to 50%? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Appointment percentage must be commensurate with the hours worked (effort), and not calculated to achieve a gross dollar figure. The percentage appointment should be based on work effort. If the work duties and effort for GSR or ASEs are modified, the percentage appointment may be increased or decreased.

  • Will hiring thresholds need to be kept under 50%, or can we have them at exactly 50%? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Historically GSR 50% threshold would sometimes trigger VAC accrual which is no longer a factor. Graduate students may be appointed between 25-50% time during the academic year. It is important the workload be commensurate with the percent appointment and this be well documented. Full-time equivalent (FTE) should also be in measurable effort, not fractional, like 47.8%.

  • Will students who are awarded Graduate Program Fellowship Allocation (GPFA) support be considered Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) under the new contract?
  • This type of internal fellowship is typically not covered by the bargaining agreement if that's the only type of support received by the student.
  • For GSRs in spring and future terms, can we reduce the salary point or percentage of effort from prior appointments? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Current GSRs should be placed on the indicated salary point that corresponds to their current step and should continue on this step or higher for future appointments. For new students (entering Fall 23), a department may determine where to place a student on the GSR steps/salary points. The percentage appointment should be based on work effort. If the work duties and effort for GSR or ASEs are modified, the percentage appointment may be increased or decreased. Appointment percentage must be commensurate with the hours worked (effort), and not calculated to achieve a gross dollar figure.In there a minimum percentage of appointment for graduate student appointments?

  • Is there a minimum percentage required by either of the student contracts? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Nowhere in the contracts is it stated that students are guaranteed any percentage of appointment. However, as directed in UC Davis APM, Appendix II-B Appointment of Graduate Students, any single appointment or combination of appointments normally is not to exceed half-time (50%) during the academic year. Any single appointment may not be less than 25%. Percentage appointment must be commensurate with the hours worked (effort), and not calculated to achieve a gross dollar figure.

  • Can we combine a students appointment in a given quarter so they are an ASE & GSR? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: As always, any student can concurrently hold different types of appointments (ASE, GSR). This has not changed. Percentage appointment must be commensurate with the hours worked (effort), and not calculated to achieve a gross dollar figure.

  • Regarding effort, is it allowable to have a GSR appointment for 12 months at a fixed %, but with the expectation that the effort would be heavier some months and lighter others, averaging out to the % of appointment? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: GSRs are considered exempt employees. The GSRs workload (time and effort commitment) will be commensurate with the appointment percentage each month (i.e., a 50% GSR should be assigned a workload that could reasonably be accomplished in an average of 20 hours per week). It is understood that the workload may fluctuate in a given time period (e.g., workweek, month, academic term) due to the general functions and activities within a research lab or program. The expectations of attendance, presence, and participation should be defined clearly between the supervisor and employee.

  • Can a student hold both a TA and Reader position in the same term? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: A student may hold multiple positions in different titles. However, a student should not hold two ASE (TA/AI/Reader/Tutor) positions for the same course.

  • Are we still able to specify 25% appointments, or is 50% considered the “standard”? What about percentages between 25-50%? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Graduate students may be appointed between 25-50% time during the academic year. It is important the workload be commensurate with the percent appointment and this be well documented. Full-time equivalent (FTE) should also be in measurable effort, not fractional, like 47.8%.

  • Will there be new TA/GSR appointment notification templates for upcoming appointments? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Yes, new appointment letter templates will be created using new, required language. However, continue to utilize the current templates for all offers of employment to reduce delays in spring appointment notification and hiring. Links to updated template language will be update when available.

  • Will there be something similar to the Appendix A for TAs that could be used for GSRs to define expectations? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: The GSR contract does not require such a document, however, we strongly encourage developing methods to define, communicate and follow-up on all expectations and associated effort. Developing a tool similar to the Supplemental Documentation for TAs will be extremely helpful.

  • Are there any changes to the expected workload for ASEs in the new contract? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: No, there are a few minor language changes, but no changes to hours of workload.

  • Does the new contract address hiring advanced undergraduates as TAs? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: The policy of hiring undergraduates into TA positions is determined by the University and is by exception. The contract contains language regarding the terms and conditions of employment for undergraduates when appointed as a TA such as wages, fee remission and other eligible benefits.

  • Is there any exemption to the two-year initial appointment for postdocs? What about if the relationship does not work and has to be terminated earlier? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: No, there is no exemption to the two-year appointment. All initial appointments of a postdoc at UC must be for a two-year duration. However, there is a new release provision for Postdocs on their initial appointment, with minimum 30 days’ notice to the Postdoc. The release cannot be effective before the one-year mark. Release is at the University’s sole discretion and can be for any reason, except an unlawful reason.

Time Reporting & Benefits

  • Are students expected to work during academic breaks?
  • ASE (TA/AI/Reader/Tutor) workload should be completed within days of the final exam. There is normally no expectation of work to be completed during academic breaks for this classification of employee or job.

    GSRs are considered exempt employees.  The GSRs workload (time and effort commitment) will be commensurate with the appointment percentage each month.  I.e. a 50% GSR should be assigned a workload that could reasonably be accomplished in an average of 20 hours per week. It is understood that the workload may fluctuate in a given time period (e.g. workweek, month, academic term) due to the general functions and activities within a research lab or program. The expectations of attendance, presence, and  participation should be defined clearly between the supervisor and employee.
  • For Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) how will the benefit of dependent health insurance premiums be paid or reimbursed?
  • We do not currently have details. University of California Office of the President (UCOP) is working with Student Health Insurance Programs (SHIP) to develop this new benefit. Effective Fall 2023.
  • Is the 8 weeks of paid leave on a calendar, fiscal or academic year basis? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: The ASE/GSR paid leave is to be administered on an academic year basis and will be administered October - September. The Postdoctoral paid leave is to be administered on a calendar year January - December

  • How will PTO be tracked? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: At this time departments will need to track accrual and usage locally. As resources to manage this benefit are developed and deployed, details will be announced.

  • What are the GSR PTO accruals and how will they be tracked? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: GSRs with a 25% or more appointment, for a minimum of one full month, will be eligible to use personal time off with pay during the length of the appointment. GSRs may earn up to 12 days per year and the days will be prorated at a rate of one day per month for every full month of appointed service. At this time departments will need to track accrual and usage locally.

  • Will graduate students employed as GSRs still accrue Vacation? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Vacation leave was not part of the final agreement. Instead, GSRs with a 25% or more appointment, for a minimum of one full month, will be eligible to use personal time off with pay during the length of the appointment. GSRs may earn up to 12 days per year and the days will be prorated at a rate of one day per month for every full month of appointed service.

  • Can students or Postdoctoral Scholars use two 8-week leaves during the year for two separate events; i.e. baby bonding & caring for a parent etc.
  • No - the new 8 week benefit is limited to 8 paid weeks during the Academic Year or Fiscal Year.

Fee Remission

  • The "Current Practice for NRST" section in both contracts appears to only codify the UCOP policy to reduce NRST by 100% for up to 3 years post candidacy. The contract itself does not require NRST remission for pre-candidacy students. (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Yes, this is correct. The contract does not require NRST remission for pre-candidacy students. UC Davis currently has additional local policy governing NRST remission for students.

  • Does the new fee remission increase for ASEs now cover the small amount of local fees ($196.96/qtr) which has historically been paid by the student or by a departmental fellowship? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Yes, that is correct. The new ASE fee remission covers 100% of all local fees. The student (or program) will no longer need to make these small payments or awards beginning in Fall 2023.

Student Financial Support Planning

  • Can you give guidance on how to revise Compensation Plans in light of the new contracts? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: Graduate Studies is considering whether GSR Compensation Plans are necessary now as we begin using the experience-based level progression. We would like to solicit feedback from our graduate programs and groups on this subject.

  • Can we reset our compensation plan for GSRs to new Step 1 as a default? (Posted January 31, 2023)
  • 1/31/2023: For the duration of this academic year, we will continue to map the GSRs using historical compensation plans, the compressed salary scale, and mapping provided. Should we continue with plans, it makes sense to revise the plans during the summer to align with programmatic/graduate group student support goals. More guidance will be forthcoming regarding the overall options for revising the former GSR compensation plans to a Graduate Group/Program Student Support Plans in late spring/summer.

  • Will the salary increases affect work study eligibility? (Posted February 2, 2023)
  • 2/2/2023: No, work-study eligibility does not take into account earnings from employment positions. It does take into account any student financial support fellowships, fee remissions, and/or financial aid the student receives.

  • How will the Campus Fee Grant change now that campus fees are covered as part of TA fee remission? (Posted February 2, 2023)
  • 2/2/2023: The Campus Fee Grant (available through Financial Aid) is based on return-to-aid on campus based fees and should not be impacted by the labor contract.

  • Are GSR Cost Calculators available for Spring 2023 and for the 2023-24 academic year to help us calculate costs? (Posted February 2, 2023)
  • 2/2/2023: GSR Cost Calculators have been updated for Spring 2023 on this webpage: https://grad.sf.ucdavis.edu/academic-personnel. Cost calculators for Fall 2023 will be available once fees for the 2023-24 academic year are finalized and officially announced.

  • What salary scales should we use to estimate employment earnings in our new multi-year offer letters to prospective students? (Posted February 2, 2023)
  • 2/2/2023: If you choose to use Version 4 of the multi-year offer letter templates, which lists a dollar amount for employment, you should use the current salary scales. Language is already included in the letter to indicate that the amount listed above is a minimum amount and that all compensation amounts are governed by the applicable collective bargaining unit.

  • Should graduate programs refrain from offering dollar amounts in multi-year offers to prospective students? (Posted February 2, 2023)
  • 2/2/2023: Graduate programs should offer dollar amounts for student financial support fellowships (Fellowships not tied to expectation of employment or service to the University). If graduate programs would like to offer dollar amounts for employment, they should follow the Version 4 multi-year funding template with the understanding that the amounts provided in that letter are a minimum and that any additional student financial support fellowships should not be reduced in response to wage increases.

  • If we have a multi-year template stating a "combination of TA/GSR/Fellowship," should we provide a range of estimated salary to account for future increases? (Posted February 2, 2023)
  • 2/2/2023: No. Multi-year offer letters must separate out employment and student financial support fellowships as shown in Version 4 of the Graduate Studies' multi-year funding templates. The amounts used to estimate employment earnings should be based upon the current salary scales. Language is already included in the template letter to indicate that the amount listed above is a minimum amount and that all compensation amounts are governed by the applicable collective bargaining unit.

  • Should programs anticipate an increase in work study units? (Posted February 2, 2023)
  • 2/2/2023: No, work study funding is capped based on an allocation from the Department of Education, and there is no indication this allocation will be increased. In order to cover 75% of the salary for eligible GSR's, the number of work study units will have to decrease.

Academics