There’s a recent article in the New York Times that I think is telling — it compares the working conditions of janitors for two extremely prosperous companies — one at Eastman Kodak in the 1980’s; the other at Apple today.
To quote from the article:
Ms. Evans was a full-time employee of Kodak. She received more than four weeks of paid vacation per year, reimbursement of some tuition costs to go to college part time, and a bonus payment every March. When the facility she cleaned was shut down, the company found another job for her: cutting film.Ms. Ramos is an employee of a contractor that Apple uses to keep its facilities clean. She hasn’t taken a vacation in years, because she can’t afford the lost wages. Going back to school is similarly out of reach. There are certainly no bonuses, nor even a remote possibility of being transferred to some other role at AppleYet the biggest difference between their two experiences is in the opportunities they created. [ . . .]They both spent a lot of time cleaning floors. The difference is, for Ms. Ramos, that work is also a ceiling.
I’m reminded of this story, now that the following letter has arrived in the mailbox from a Partial-Load faculty
I’ve been a partial load professor for close to 10 years in the same program at the same institution. I am reduced down to part-time in the summer. Thankfully I get renewed every year but am forced to wait a week before classes start to get a contract .This year 2 positions came up that I was qualified for and as the bargaining agreement states, I would be considered as an internal candidate . After 10 years teaching I was so hopeful to finally have an opportunity to interview .Alas, I was not granted an interview because I did not have a 3-year diploma in my field. The diploma I have is a 2-year diploma. This diploma was obtained 20 years ago at the very institution I teach for. Seems like an ageist approach to hiring considering 3-year diplomas were introduced into the Ontario college system about 10 years ago.I am pursuing a Masters in education. I am starting my thesis in December. I am paying for through my own funds. That credential had no impact, nor the years of teaching, or the 20 years of experience I have in my field to obtain an interview.The system is broken for the people who actually want to be full-time professors.
Thirty-five years ago, American industry didn’t have an underclass of front-line employees for which job mobility was a distant prospect. Now it does.
Can the same story be told of Ontario colleges?