AFT Prez Randi Weingarten Solves Exploitation of, Well, Everyone

Which of these sentences was spoken by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten at the recent annual conference of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining? See if you can guess.

1.  “Hiring WOMEN isn’t a bad thing, she said, but “we’ve reached the point where colleges are basically staffed by FEMALE workers. We’ve got to think about what to do to change the balance.”

2.  Hiring BLACKS isn’t a bad thing, she said, but “we’ve reached the point where colleges are basically staffed by BLACK workers. We’ve got to think about what to do to change the balance.”

3.  Hiring ASIANS isn’t a bad thing, she said, but “we’ve reached the point where colleges are basically staffed by ASIAN workers. We’ve got to think about what to do to change the balance.”

4.  Hiring MEN isn’t a bad thing, she said, but “we’ve reached the point where colleges are basically staffed by MALE workers. We’ve got to think about what to do to change the balance.” (Oops, sorry. This is actually a reality so far as tenured faculty positions and college presidencies are concerned.)  

5.  Hiring GAYS isn’t a bad thing, she said, but “we’ve reached the point where colleges are basically staffed by GAY workers. We’ve got to think about what to do to change the balance.”

6.  Hiring ADJUNCTS isn’t a bad thing, she said, but “we’ve reached the point where colleges are basically staffed by CONTINGENT workers. We’ve got to think about what to do to change the balance.” 

If you guessed 1, you’re absolutely correct. Randi Weingarten thinks there are too many women in higher education. Wait. Or was it number 2? She probably wouldn’t have a problem with people thinking she’d said there are too many blacks in higher education, right? Randi Weingarten would have no problem announcing to the press that the best way to improve pay and working conditions for blacks and women in higher education is to get rid of the blacks and women.

Oh, alright. I’ll tell you what she really said. You know already. It’s number 6. The AFT President’s solution to the “adjunct problem,” her strategy to resolve long-standing industry-wide pay inequities and abysmal working conditions is to, yes, get rid of the adjuncts. 

AFT has 250 locals at colleges and universities in the U.S. and represents approximately 50,000 part-time faculty. According to Larry Gold, director of the AFT’s higher education division, 140 of those locals are unified and serve both full-time and part-time faculty. In response to suggestions that there are “problems” with these unified locals representing the interests of their part-time members Gold said, “He was not surprised by problems that crop up….” He went on to conclude that, “There are a whole lot of things that need to be worked out.”

Evidently, some of the issues that need to be “worked out” are at AFT headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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