Sunday, June 03, 2007

BARBARA EHRENREICH on Part Time Faculty in "CEOs vs. Slaves"

We are mentioned in paragraph seven:

But a parallel kind of splitting is going in many of the professions. Top-ranked college professors, for example, enjoy salaries of several hundred thousand a year, often augmented by consulting fees and earnings from their patents or biotech companies. At the other end of the professoriate, you have adjunct teachers toiling away for about $5000 a semester or less, with no benefits or chance of tenure. There was a story a few years ago about an adjunct who commuted to his classes from a homeless shelter in Manhattan, and adjuncts who moonlight as waitresses or cleaning ladies are legion.


The next paragraph talks about people who should be our natural allies, lawyers and other advanced degree "perma-temps," who mistakenly thought that if they got a masters or higher, they would at least have secured a place in the middle class.

This is why attacking the definition of temporary may be an issue that resonates with people outside academia.

The temping industry and model of employment has grown far beyond fluctuations in companies' demand for labor as might happen with tax accountants for example. Instead, like our situation, many businesses have a constant rotating cadre of temps to avoid benefits or employees who accumulate seniority or much scrutiny about why someone is let go.

Since a lot of people will be reading this story, you might want to post a testimonial comment about how you have been screwed as an adjunct in the comment section at the end, to raise public awareness.


And contact Ehrenreich with your stories and what we are trying to change, so she might revisit this issue in another column in the future.


She also has a blog & organization for screwed professionals.

This is the first I've seen of her blog, but it's worth a look.