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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4 Comments

  1. Indeed, my posting this here is an apology in all of the senses of the word.

    I, too, have droned on about those full-time faculty who deliberately profit from the institution of contingent labor in all of their myriad exploitations — including post-retirement “double-dipping” as adjuncts (a la Carey Nelson) and career-building “labor studies”.

    Indeed, I have openly attacked Prof. HTUW on his own blog and at Brainstorm for his failures in this regard, including his co-chairmanship of the AAUP committee on part-timers. By his silence since I sent him this “hot” tip, Prof. HTUW has yet again confirmed not only his own hypocrisy but that of the AAUP.

    Spread the word about Wes. Here’s the link I received to the SUNY UUP campaign statements: http://www.uupinfo.org/voice/apr/09/0409voiceweb.pdf (cf. pages 8 and 9).

    As the Jesuits say, “What man has done, man can do” — woman, too, of course, but what can one expect in a maxim from the Jesuits, the only major Catholic religious order without a parallel women’s branch ;-).

    In true solidarity,
    AHA-Erlebnis

  2. AHA,

    May I suggest you sent your “hot” tip to the wrong guy? I’ve been droning on for longer than either of us would care to remember that full-time faculty simply can’t or won’t shape the debate in our best interests.

    Good for Wes that he ran. Sorry he wasn’t elected. I would have loved to see UUP with a part-timer as president.

    Part-Time Thoughts

  3. (No need to publish this since your site has censored before — but you do need to know this.)

    An adjunct in AFT’s largest union, the SUNY United University Professions, Wes Kennison of SUNY-Geneseo ran against the incumbent president Phil Smith and lost by only 45 votes among the 300-400 delegates in the presidential election this past weekend. Absolutely historic, wouldn’t you say?

    I emailed Marc Bousquet about this weeks _before_ the election and he gave it no coverage, and now _after_ the election and he gives it no coverage.

    Keeping in mind that AFT and UUP pay AAUP significant monies to co-organize, etc., and that Professor How the University Works is an AAUP National Council member and co-chair of their committee on adjuncts, well, I guess you now know that money from UUP incumbent leaders is more important than adjunct solidarity in AAUP.

    So much for our “friends” in AFT _and_ AAUP whose voices are bought and sold….

    AHA-Erlebnis

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