As the Adjunctiverse Turns

cheeky, no respect for academia

Cartoon of the day

All great today — and appropriately unsettling the never-ending dumpster fire that is the news

occasional links & commentary


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600_212775  bors

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I ran out of words to describe how bad the recovery numbers are

Want more? Here are posts tagged precariat, including a number specifically about adjuncts:

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occasional links & commentary


Back in June, Neil Irwin wrote that he couldn’t find enough synonyms for “good”  to adequately describe the jobs numbers.

I have the opposite problem. I’ve tried every word I could come up with—including “lopsided,” “highly skewed,” and “grotesquely unequal“—to describe how “bad” this recovery has been, especially for workers.


Maybe readers can come up with their own adjectives to illustrate the plight of Americans workers since the Second Great Depression began—something that captures the precipitous decline in the labor share during the past decade (from 103.3 in the first quarter of 2008 to 97.1 in the first quarter of 2018, with 2009 equal to 100).*

But perhaps there’s a different approach. Just run the numbers and report the results. That’s what the Directorate for Employment, Labour, and Social Affairs seem to have done in compiling the latest OECD Employment Outlook 2018. Here’s their summary:


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The Post-Janus Path Forward

The Adjunct Crisis

On June 28th, while I was in the midst of considering the impact of one of my locals losing dues from over 300 members, I saw a piece of commentary titled, “Why the Supreme Court Ruling on Unions Could Be Good for Adjuncts” by Keith Hoeller, a retired philosophy adjunct from Washington state.

In the commentary, Hoeller primarily argues that 1) particularly wall-to-wall (those faculty unions will both full-time and part-time members) have systematically underserved the needs and interests of full-time faculty; 2) that clearly, adjuncts would be served better by adjunct-only unions; 3) and that the path to this is by adjuncts pushing for the de-certification of wall-to-wall units, with the apparent goal of using the leverage to realize supposedly one-tier faculty labor system known as the “Vancouver Model,” whereby uncoming part-time instructors, are paid at the proportional full-time rate after, and after teaching a 50%+ load…

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On the dynamics of “puppet master” bullying at work

David Yamada fine tunes blogging and mobbing, identifies and adds a key player, the puppet master. We’ve all met one in at least one academic institution or related setting…

Minding the Workplace

image courtesy of

In 2012 I proposed a type of work abuse that fits somewhere between workplace bullying and workplace mobbing. I called it “puppet master” bullying and described it as a form of “multiple-aggressor abuse at work that may stand at the fault lines between common conceptions of bullying and mobbing.” Here’s more:

In these situations, a chief aggressor’s power and influence over a group of subordinates may be sufficient to enlist their participation in mistreating a target, creating what looks and feels like a mob. For example, if the aggressor is a mid-level manager, he may recruit HR to help out with the dirty work and encourage the target’s peers to shun or bully her.

Even in cases of peer bullying, one aggressor can use intimidation and persuasion to turn others against a peer-level target.

One of the key indicators of puppet master bullying, all too infrequently realized, is…

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Cartoon of the day

Belatedly, I notice that precarity etc (the social media edition) has been experiencing a Ruccio (@Dfruccio) gap. Previously we syndicated Occasional Links & Commentary to our Facebook page, Precarious life & times via NetWorkedBlogs, phasing out but still still supporting legacy subscribers. On June 6, NWB finally pulled the plug, disabling the last remaining features.

For now, I’ll re-blog manually but may syndicate again directly on Dlvr: so no more Ruccio deprivation

occasional links & commentary


Special mention

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A National Adjunct/Contingent Caucus: What it Can and Should Be.

The Adjunct Crisis

On July 14th at the Biennial AFT National Convention, members of the American Federation of Teachers Adjunct Contingent Caucus will convene to select caucus leaders who, in the face of a post-Janus America, along the increasing threats expanding labor contingency and academic corporatization, must work in conferring with and guiding AFT to more effectively understand and act upon adjunct contingent Issues.  To be effective at this task, here are the basic steps and actions it must undertake, or encourage the High Ed. Division of AFT to undertake:

  1. Define and Recognize the Varying Degrees of Educational Labor Contingency

Adjunct/Contingent teacher plight is in part plagued by a literal soup of job titles from, “part-time” and “adjunct,” to “associate,” “lecturer,” and “non-tenure track.” The wide variety of these terms, none of which are truly understood by a general, non-academic public, only serves to shroud the nature of their exploitation under a…

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Ruminating, problem solving, and coping in the midst of work abuse

work abuse is a commonplace of the #adjunct workplace

Minding the Workplace

In an article recently published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (abstract here), researchers Abbas Firoozabadi, Sjir Uitdewilligen, and Fred R. H. Zijlstra pose their key question in the title: “Should you switch off or stay engaged? The consequences of thinking about work on the trajectory of psychological well-being over time.”

Basically, they wanted to explore how taking our jobs home with us affects psychological well-being, especially when it comes to how we deal with work-related problems. Their focus was the distinction between ruminating (in this context, repeatedly thinking about the negative emotional aspects of a work experience) vs. problem-solving (analyzing potential responses and solutions). As some readers can already see, this study has significant implications for those experiencing forms of bullying, mobbing, and harassment at work.

Study details and findings

As explained in the article abstract, the study was conducted with “123 participants with full-time and…

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The Use of Competitive Hiring to Erode Tenure by Adjunctification

…another important @AdjunctCrisis post by John R Hoskins

The Adjunct Crisis

Following are comments made on an email thread debating proposed language changes affecting adjuncts in AFT 1931 that might be of interest to others. The comments have been slightly edited.

Here are my comments in support of the proposed changes to the contract language being discussed in this thread as well as an attempt (an inadequate one) to put the discussion in a larger context that might allow us to see our situation more clearly. I beg your indulgence.

The human condition is richly ironic. Our best intentions often go awry and we end up accomplishing the opposite of our original aims. This has happened with the competitive hiring process in search of the “best” at community colleges.

The hiring process was instituted to ensure that the hiring of faculty was just, that it offered equal opportunity to all candidates. The result has been mixed at best. Nationally, the lion’s…

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The People Made the First New Deal. Can the People Make Another?

With Midterm elections coming and talk about system change in the air, this is a timely topic and post.

Overdue catching up with Be Freedom, I’m starting with the most recent post but also recommend following the blog by email or rss feed reader.

Be Freedom

WV-TeachersStrike-ap-imgMassive Protest and Organizing Created the New Deal

The kind of electoral victories we need will take far more than standard electioneering and Facebook debates.  Let’s look at what it took to create the New Deal so we can see just how challenging the task ahead is. During the Great Depression massive organizing efforts and protest movements were necessary just to reform the two-party system. New Deal history strongly suggests that the current dementer v. demexit debate is largely a waste of time until we organize movements powerful enough to upset the existing order.

In our memory Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the standard bearer of the New Deal but it did not start that way.  FDR was a reluctant reformer pushed into progressive action because millions of people were willing to experiment with radical solutions.

Mass movements, third parties and revolutionary parties, labor upheaval, agrarian unrest, powerful populists, discontented veterans, and Democratic congressmen

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Contingent faculty as a bivalent collective.

ICYM Deirdre Rose’s earlier version, “The Neoliberal U and Me,” on the Canadian Anthropology Society newsletter, Culture

In addition to following this blog (highly recommended) you can also follow her on Twitter @deidrerose22

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