Comments on: Labor Day: brought to you by the folks who brought you the 8-hour workday and the weekend. History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:08:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: The wind at his back: or, effortlessness in academia « Feminéma Sat, 10 Sep 2011 15:17:59 +0000 [...] post is for Servetus, Profacero, Spanish Professor, Historiann, and the rest of my compañeras fighting the good fight in academia. More movies and feminism [...]

By: J. Otto Pohl Wed, 07 Sep 2011 11:36:45 +0000 Isn’t Labor Day on May First? I am pretty sure that is the day it has been celebrated in most of the world for a while.

By: Z Wed, 07 Sep 2011 05:01:15 +0000 @wini: it was way before my time but somehow I know how to sing the song, to the tune of Joy to the World:

Joy to UC
the world has come.
Clark Kerr has called us Reds.
If you are 49%
you can’t work for the government
the university
turns out more GNP
without your subversion on
its property!


p.s. to the tune of O Little Town of Bethlehem:

UC administration, your clumsy, punchcard mind…

Yet in the dark night shining, an Oakland cop’s flashlight
Will settle all your arguments, and prove your cause is right.

By: Cloud Tue, 06 Sep 2011 16:36:37 +0000 @wini, we see that same sort of nonsense in the private sector, too- when you hire someone fulltime, you pay benefits, so a lot of places use more contract labor. I remain puzzled as to why more wasn’t made of this during the health care debate. The expense of paying benefits could be argued to be a job killer. (And it is a pretty big expense- when we estimate the cost of a full time employee for a cost-benefit analysis, the estimate is generally 2x salary, due to benefits.)

Anyway, I always thought that in a saner political climate, a solid case could have been made for the business-friendly decoupling the cost of health insurance from the cost of hiring an employee. But that case was only occasionally and weakly made during the debate. Instead, we argued about non-existent death panels.

By: Perpetua Tue, 06 Sep 2011 14:37:52 +0000 (Ha! I just caught this at TR: In my case the decision to work on labor day is even more incomprehensible, as TPTB began the semester on a *Tuesday* and could have easily began on a Monday, allowing for the holiday.

By: Perpetua Tue, 06 Sep 2011 13:15:41 +0000 Yay Labor Day! Except, um, I was working, ’cause in my Right to Work State, we work on Labor Day! On a practical level, it doesn’t bother me that much, (although oh! the headaches of mismatched holiday schedules between work and schools), but the symbolism of it was bitter indeed, especially after the year that unions have had.

By: wini Tue, 06 Sep 2011 12:20:33 +0000 Z. My colleague’s wife can’t get past a 49% appointment at her school because then they would have to supply benefits. The other adjunct abruptly quit a couple weeks ago and now two faculty are teaching an overload instead of hiring colleague’s wife (for a single semester!) full time.

By: Z Tue, 06 Sep 2011 06:06:17 +0000 About work to rule: we’re on overload this semester because a full time instructor and a part time adjunct both quit two days before classes started. University still wanted the classes given and ordered it done. My idea was, just say no, or else do it but cancel other classes. People thought it was a really weird idea. But is it?

By: Leslie Tue, 06 Sep 2011 02:38:14 +0000 “It’s hard to *find* a (faculty) picket line in academia because the predominant view in bargaining units seems to be that it just wouldn’t work anyway and there’s probably a law against it and they’d just get an injunction and send us to bed without supper.”

The unionized faculty where I work have a no-strike clause in the contract (I am among that number). If there is any kind of faculty protest involving *not teaching*, we are in fact required to meet our classes, though we can otherwise support it (i.e. showing up at rallies once we’ve, um, taught). The faculty who can “strike” frequently don’t (is it a strike if there’s no union?); they talk a lot instead–symposia and blogs and op ed pieces (there’s even a workshop coming up on writing effective op ed pieces).

I don’t mean to diminish the work of some of the bloggers, as the work is intelligent; I only note with hopefully misplaced cynicism that in some cases, it feeds directly into research interests.

By: Erica Tue, 06 Sep 2011 00:09:13 +0000 I love unions, having both been in one (as a cashier) and worked “against” one (as a manufacturing engineer in a factory). I didn’t particularly care about my union as a teenager in a grocery store, but I did deeply appreciate the factory union despite running into occasional conflicts. It was really helpful to have a set of rules and responsibilities that everybody (union or not) abided by. Was it perfect? No, but few things are.

The parent company closed that factory, deciding it was more economical to shift production to overseas (e.g. low-wage, non-union) facilities. I was sorta pleased when they ended up going bankrupt shortly after putting us all out of work (although mostly angry, since the long-time employees are all now struggling both with unemployment and having their pensions mostly gutted).