There's been an unusually wide assortment of blog posts, discussions, and news items on academic labor issues this week. Due to the conditions of my own academic labor, and the size of the stacks of papers and exams to grade on my desk, I can't do more than briefly list them here:
- Inside Higher Ed is reporting on the recent American Federation of Teachers report on adjunct usage nation wide.
- Dean Dad takes umbrage at the AFT report. It calls for paying adjuncts significantly more for the work they already do. Dean Dad notices this would be bad for budgets. LumpenProf takes umbrage at Dean Dad's umbrage. When workers are paid below the poverty line the way to fix this is to pay them more, not work them harder. This always hurts budgets. And just as unions managed to cut the work week in half and keep their pay the same during the depression, look for academic workers to aim at increasing wages while keeping their hours the same during the coming depression. Never waste a good crisis. Academic labor needs to come out of this crisis stronger and better organized than ever.
- This quote posted by Ortho seems very timely as well: "An ersatz program imposed from above always looks better to an administrator than a proposal growing organically from a constituency below. And power does corrupt." -- Cary Nelson & Stephen Watt, Academic Keywords: A Devil's Dictionary for Higher Education
- And I've been having an intriguing, if somewhat vexed, discussion over on Dead Voles about the status of the lumpenprofessoriat. When you can't even get the Marxist profs on board with the idea of unionizing, it starts to look like a long row to hoe.