Still Mo’ Woikin’

It is hardly that I do not agree that academic work is work.

I have been quoted as saying so on the front page of the Los Angeles Times and that was because of handing out union cards. It was decades ago, and you can tell that to have been allowed to say it on the front page of the Los Angeles Times I had gotten myself a great deal of credibility as an organizer, saying precisely that, already.

Right now I am on a statewide committee involving academic senates and the AAUP which makes a good attempt to point out to the public, and to legislators, that academic work is work.

We have this situation: the redefinition of tenure to mean that you have a year’s notice of termination as opposed to just a few weeks. We have always had this situation: really high teaching loads for some groups of research faculty, who are expected to produce as though they were part of the lower teaching load groups.

I would love to be in a position to get irritated about the privileges of a few megastars but I just can’t seem to begrudge them a thing, there are so few of them.

Axé.


2 thoughts on “Still Mo’ Woikin’

  1. “Once again: don’t mourn, organize!”
    I couldn’t agree more. And this is an ethic I picked up during my time in the US — something I will acknowledge. We have a lot of problems with security and stability amongst the informal labour sector in urban India (sort of like undocumented immigrant labour in the US?), and for years, I had helped my mother buy state health insurance policies for some of the, teach them enough reading and writing to manage savings accounts and so on. But it was only during the US that I realised formal community organising — which I’d rejected before as being too paternalistic, “Look I’m saving the poor downtrodden people” — is pretty much the only way to reach larger numbers of people and do some concrete good in a way one-on-one effort simply can’t.

    And now I’ve started my own little non-profit, for which I have hopes and plans.

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