The post below was sent two months ago to the list of the Radical Caucus (MLA). Along with the posts quoted, it provides an excellent snap shot, it seems to me, of the condition of college labor today and, by extension, the condition of higher education in the U.S. Today and also of K-12 education, and by yet further extension, of the condition of the working classes of the day in this Age of Austerity, Repression, & Endless Wars. There exist radical or left caucuses in a number of academic disciplines; should not all such caucuses begin to consider the possibility of a national "caucus" of some sort involving all campus labor (and not just faculty); not a union (though that is needed) but focused on creating a channel for information exchange among activist groups on various campuses and, eventually, shared action. Carrol -----Original Message----- From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard Ohmann Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2013 9:01 AM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: [radcaucus] business for the rad caucus Your dystopian imagination is terrific, Betsy. Having tried and failed to find some leverage on this issue for 4 years (on the MLA executive council), I'm inclined to agree that the adjunct problem will become the new normal, in something like the way you posit, plus the outsourcing of grading and correcting to Bangladesh, etc. This will not be a great development for the tenure track faculty, some of whom will be needed to keep Stanford, MIT, and Princeton at the top of the elite heap, and to star for MOOCs; but many of whom will themselves become supernumeraries. Unless . . . . d On Sep 18, 2013, at 8:12 PM, Margaret Hanzimanolis wrote: Thank you for your comments, Kamala, Carol, and Rich. Part time faculty make up 50.1 % of the instructional staff in US colleges and Universities. They receive about 1/3 the pay, 1/10 of the benefits, and have no academic freedoms and weak or missing job security. A lifetime of adjunct work (I am a lifer) yields a loss of roughly 1 million dollars (were equal pay for equal work the rule). Since there are 761,990 PTF (and 761,660 FTF) , that means the students, the institution, the taxpayer save about 33 billion a year on PTF labor--if you run that out to wealth statistics, which find women way behind men (78-100 in pay differential--but men's lifetime earnings are 400% higher ) .. So the same for African Americans, whose hourly pay lags 40 cents, but whose lifetime earnings lag 8000%, (for women). When we come to adjuncts, we have a 60 cent wage differential, which presumably amounts to about a 12,000 % lifetime wealth loss. We are really talking about trillions of dollars. IN addition, FTF have much more admin work, many more pressures, so you, as an emeritus, Rich, lived perhaps in the only golden era (1970-1985) for higher education! --if we ever had one. I think the structural inequities in treatment of PTF labor nationally is way, way above (in importance) the issue of concessions from unions. but locally that might well be the battle. But the time is past, I think, for useful PTf resistance ( I can't really explain why this is so--maybe I am just tiring out on it>)--but now that I have spent a couple months tracking how Lumina is controlling the curriculum, controlling the accreditation, controlling the HE media (with student loan profits of its parent corp:) , I am feeling like the adjunct problem is actually not going to be a problem very soon, as the colleges and universities have been herded into common standards, and other standardizing practices in the curriculum, which will mean that a 'ready made" curriculum can be foisted upon resource starved institutions, and the teachers in all but the most elite schools will be relegated to para-professionals monitoring classrooms with big screens. In that sorry narrative, the adjunct question will have disappeared, because corporations will be desiging and selling all variety of canned curriculum which will, da da,: match the canned standards that colleges and universities have been forced to adopt. I give it 15 years and there will be no adjunct problem: everyone will be an adjunct except for the 15%-30% elites--who will always have first rate, F2F education. I don't know where the line will be drawn between the live curriculum and the canned: maybe 40% will get the living education, and 60% the dead and canned. Not sure exactly how it will be staged in... but in that scenario the 761,000 FTF cohort will be about right... then the others--those currently on the adjunct track-- will not be teachers, actually, they will be "classroom monitors" --a kind of glorified paraprofessional, not functioning as "instructional"personnel--but rather "support." They will need only a AA in "instructional technology management" a degree that does not exist yet, but will in about two years. Tutors, educated in the field, will be available (as freelancers) to the well off non elite should a student have the means and wish some face to face tutoring. The school will simply provide "space" --drafty halls with banging shutters and burned out lightbulbs where these freelancers conduct their tutoring. The institution will not "pay" the tutor, instead, the tutor will collect her tutoring fees individually, from each student , and do her own photocopying on her own dime or whatever else is needed -- spend a few hours boning up on British romanticism so she can customize a tutoring session for an especially generous (or promising?) student . It's really more like a brothel idea with the institution pimping out the tutor (formerly the adjunct), collecting a fee from the tutor for being "referred" to students needing F2F (like how many hair salons are run--you rent a "booth"), providing space. Hey maybe this is a movie. I hope this is just my own personal nightmare . But the foundation control of everything in education goes really quite deep. The final straw for me was when I discovered how far the accrediting take-over has progressed already, by these "foundations" that are flush with grotesque profits from yesteryear, and intent upon developing new "monetizing" opportunities. The ambitions and goals are quite naked: Privatization of sectors, services, curriculum, testing, instructional materials, everything. I hope I am wrong. On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 4:26 PM, Rich Gibson <[log in to unmask]> wrote: Having been a full prof, then emeritus, and now an adjunct---for fun---it's pretty easy to see how people are being played, not only by their bosses, but by their union(s) and by themselves. Having been an organizer for the empire's unions, on the road, for about 1/2 my life, I know how the unions play too. And no one working for any of the teacher/prof/schoolworker unions wants much of anything to do with faculty in colleges and universities. Why? Individualism, arrogance, hubris, racism, opportunism, nationalism, and sheer stupidity. It is much, much, easier to organize, and then trick if necessary, k12 workers. And the k12 world draws a lot more dues. On my campus, the union (an NEA affiliate) which represents full time and adjunct profs in the same unit (custodial staff in another union, secretaries in another---US unions divide people more than unite them) negotiated a 5% pay cut, concessions, after the bosses had taken a 5% raise (bosses then took a 3% cut and promoted that as sacrifice). The union then said concessions would save jobs--when any idiot should know concessions do not save jobs but like giving blood to a shark, makes bosses want more. Labor history since around 1970 shows that as a fact. The day after the contract was ratified, one of the union's chief bargainers became a dean and about 700 classes were cut, meaning a few adjuncts I know lost their homes. It was an utterly corrupt and dishonest deal, promoted effectively by elected leaders and very well paid NEA staff (among others, those who helped destroy the Occupy and anti-tuition movements, for Obama). But faculty cannot bring themselves to say: corrupt and dishonest. Why? The treacle that passes off for collegiality and tolerance. When I informed the union bosses they should declare that employees and bosses have contradictory interests (they like partner in production bargaining and most of the faculty did too) and that they should organize a committee which united the faculty, other staff, and students (they being the target of schools, their minds and bodies) working easily beyond the bounds of the restrictive union contract (labor peace sold for dues) , set up a multiple area bargaining organization to create bargaining minimums that must be met, and plan state wide job actions (maybe 200 ccs in CA?), my union bosses went to the campus police complaining that I was a terrorist. Fortunately, the police rejected that claim, as did human resources (knees shot, I can't terrorize anyone anymore) . But the union is, I think, about to propose another concession package and, having done nothing to organize anyone for the last year, it may well be passed. "a fight extending well beyond the academy" is right on. Everything is in place for a dramatic change in the empire's corporate state : distrust of govt and capital, some dissent in the military (2/3 of those polled opposed the Syria attack--that is new) and a Lot of anger among vets, etc. Of course, the array of enemies, physical and ideological, is vast. The core issue of our time is the reality of the promise of perpetual imperialist war and booming inequality met by the potential of mass, integrated, class conscious resistance. But, with such small numbers on the radical or revolutionary left: where to begin--outside and inside the academy? Who are the prime canaries in the mine that will actually do something, put their bodies out there? Soldiers. Vets. Students. Immigrants. Dedicated anti-racists of all kinds. I really like and respect the adjuncts who, like me, work so hard for so little (I have other earned income and don't have to worry too much at the moment). But I do not think they would be first in my line as an organizer. I'd be very interested in what others say about that. I've not been an adjunct long and have some to learn. best, r On 9/18/2013 3:32 PM, Carrol Cox wrote: Kamala Platt Wednesday, September 18, 2013 2:22 PM business for the rad caucus The way I see it, adjuncts are "canaries in the mine" for many academic issues. If people paid attn. to more of the abuse/exploitation against contingent faculty, more things would get nipped in the bud/butt... ----------- Probably not, at least not without lengthy struggle, extending well beyond the academy --for you are absolutely correct in seeing this issue in a wider context when you go on to write: "That said, I think academics of all persuasions might do well to note how closely adjunct struggles resonate with other temporary and part time workers and workers outside of protective legislation in US. Lets not remain in the Ivory Tower and those on the fringes/ borders of academia may connect most with the "real world" I realize if we are talking about resolutions, we need to focus on academia, but we can utilize that argument to bring along issues in tandem, in other places." Not just with :" other temporary and part time workers" however but with the entire work force, including retired workers, and not just the U.S. but globally. And this is why I responded as I did to your first sentence. (I would suggest that an excellent empirical account of current global actuality is to be found in _Our Mutual Friend_ and _Little Doritt_ -- more accurate than the NYT at least on the day's events.) Capital is still triumphing in the great war that began with Carter's appointment of Volcker & his implicit approval of the murder of Bishop Romano. Carrol -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Radical Caucus of the MLA" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> . To post to this group, send email to [log in to unmask] Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/radcaucus <http://groups.google.com/group/radcaucus> . For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out <https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out> . -- ****************************** Margaret Hanzimanolis, MFA, Ph.D. 415-516-7949 Southern African Travel Narratives http://hanzer.blogspot.com City College of San Francisco [log in to unmask] De Anza College, FHDACCD Cupertino, CA [log in to unmask] Caņada College, SMCCD Redwood City, CA hanzimanolism@ <mailto:[log in to unmask]> smccd.edu <mailto:[log in to unmask]> -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Radical Caucus of the MLA" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [log in to unmask] To post to this group, send email to [log in to unmask] Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/radcaucus. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out. -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Radical Caucus of the MLA" group. 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