[Marxism] realities of academic labor vs. G's fantasies

Greg Dunkel gdunkel at mindspring.com
Tue Jul 25 21:40:03 MDT 2006

I have followed the discussion on the "realities of academic labor" 
carefully, since for the last 10 years I have been a militant in a union 
that represents about 19,000 staff and faculty in a large public urban 

Fully one-third of our members make less than $30,00 with tenuous 
security, being hired semester to semester, without offices -- in many 
cases not even desks or draws.  Staff, which includes some librarians, 
the IT specialists so necessary for modern education, registrars, 
bursars, councilors all face overload situation, demands to work 7x24x365.

Over 70% of the teaching load in our university, like most universities 
these days, is taught by adjuncts and grad assistants.  This is tough on 
the profs doing the teaching, who are never sure of a job, and also the 
students they teach.

There are locals in the AFT where the average salary is under $14,000 a 
year and nobody makes over $18,000, though people in them generally get 
free tuition.

This is the reality I see but I didn't see any reflection of it in all 
the posts about "the realities of academic labor." A lot of discussion, 
some of it raising interesting theoretical points, but not grounded as 
far as I can tell in reality.

There is a lot of class struggle happening in higher ed, and a lot of 
changes in its structure and connections to the broader class struggle.

It would be good to examine them and connect Marxist theory to reality.


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