Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Adcom Mayday: Be Bright, Be Loud

I’m looking for a good hook here, but why bother when I can use this:

Mayday! This is an emergency call for help! We face a dangerous crisis in higher education. It affects almost every university, college and community college. It is not limited to any city, region or state. It is called contingency: the majority of teachers in higher education today are grossly underpaid, at-will employees, lacking any meaningful job security and the academic freedom essential to quality education.

That’s from the 2013 Mayday Manifesto endorsed by lots of solid adjunct/contingent groups—the Executive Board (statewide, New York) of United University Professions (UUP), New Faculty Majority: The National Coalition for Adjunct and Contingent Equity, the new Adjunct Faculty Association in Pittsburgh organized by the United Steelworkers, and many others.
So go sign that now. And sign this as well, the Adjunct Justice Petition. You'll feel better, and this movement will be moving ahead. 

And then look at the NFM blog which will give you a info on Mayday adcon-related events, including one sponsored by the Ohio part-time Faculty Association, from which group I’ve taken the graphic above.

And the SUNY New Paltz UUP  site, from which I’ve taken the one below—SUNY New Paltz is the place where the excellent language of the 2013 Mayday Manifesto was developed.  

So, as you can see, tomorrow, May 1st, there are many events planned around advocacy for improved working conditions for the majority higher education faculty in this country—adjunct and contingent faculty.
Ok, let me try that again: tomorrow, there are actually too few events planned specifically to protest against the vile four-decades-old scandal in higher education that is the raw exploitation of academic labor through the use of poorly=paid, job-insecure, no-or-low benefit faculty—adjunct and contingent—who are keeping higher education afloat in this country.

A final note: as you don your red clothing tomorrow, emblazoned with the appropriate slogans, I suggest you keep it simple, so that non-specialists can follow. Avoid, for instance, such things as “Say no to Vampire Weasels” or “FTT Shadow Failure: Shame!”

Stay with something simple, like “Learning=Earning? Ha-ha-ha!”

However we’re able to do it, let’s cast some light up what Maria Maisto of NFM has called Higher Education’s Darkest Secret. And while we’re lighting up that darkness, let’s also turn up the volume.