A complaint that the universities have two different workforces. There are those with lovely plush jobs, decent pay, the best working conditions in the world – shit, who wouldn’t like a job where you’re paid to think about anything you want to – and then those doing the piecework and treated as scum. Sure, those in the grievance studies departments should be treated that way but still.
The reason we have this is worker control.
Thousands of academic staff at British universities are being treated as second-class citizens on precarious contracts, says a report highlighting the “alarming rise of mass casualised labour” in higher education.
The report by the University and College Union claims institutions have created a pool of low-paid staff to teach undergraduates, conduct research and work in libraries, despite having advanced postgraduate or other academic qualifications.
So, why do we have this? Because the people with the cushy jobs are the people running the places. And they get to decide who and how many get cushty treatment and who doesn’t. They thus create that class of helots to make their lives easier.
Which is the problem with worker control. The first group of workers in there limit off the joys of independence and produce that servile class below them. This applies to universities because they’re one of the few areas where we do actually have such worker control. This being a contention easy enough to prove.
American universities are even more controlled by faculty than British ones are. And the complaints about tenure track and adjunct are very much larger over there than here.
As it turns out the workers are just as interested in featherbedding and privileged treatment as the capitalists. They too will put a moat around their privileges.