I think I’ll be back writing here very soon, especially with this surprise Easter thing. (It was a surprise to me, anyway.) In the meantime, I just wanted to post this interview with Michelle Masse.
I’ve been meaning to write something about what’s been happening here on campus with a unionisation drive among casual academic staff. We had some minor victories last semester and hope for some big ones this year. It’s pretty exciting, I think. Now is not the time I’m going to do it. But I was struck this week – I filled in teaching for a sick co-worker this week. No worries, I could use the extra money. But the thing is, it comes straight out of her pay packet. We get no sick pay! Essentially, if we’re sick, we subcontract a co-worker. A few weeks ago I heard of a department at Sydney University in which people are teaching classes on a volunteer basis! That is, they don’t get paid; they’re doing it for the experience. Jesus Christ.
Anyway, watch Masse, courtesy Marc Bousquet of the excellent How the University Works. She makes a point Nate has often made, about the effect of academics seeing their work as a calling rather than a job.