Union vs Austerity

On the positive side, the union has immediately mobilized to stand up to the austerity measures introduced by our new chief administrator whom I will from now on call Dr Neoliberal.

The paradox is that the union people aren’t seeing that it’s precisely their efforts to keep as many of us as possible off campus during COVID that made all this possible. There can’t be academic self-governance if you aren’t there to govern.

And by the way, just so that everybody appreciates the depths of my tolerance and my incapacity to hold a grudge, I will share that I was the first person (and one of only two people so far) publicly to thank our union leader for standing up to Dr Neoliberal. This is the same union boss who two years ago publicly accused me of being willing to “cause deaths of many people for your personal convenience.” He was wrong, and it was very upsetting. He also censored me on our discussion board to the point where I had to threaten to go to the local newspapers if this ban on my free expression wasn’t removed. But I’m now risking the displeasure of the administration to show my solidarity with this same union boss.


7 thoughts on “Union vs Austerity

  1. Personally, it was maddening to see Union types working flat to make themselves (and the rest of us who share this job) completely irrelevant for almost two years.
    As late as last December, people in my department were saying in meetings thing like: “Hey I now work from home so well, I don’t need my office anymore! Why don’t I give it up to make a “wind down space” for students?” “Hey me too!’ “Hey me too!”. Fortunately I managed to persuade them to wait for several months before they went to Administration with such generous offers. Needless to say, the likelihood of such spaces reverting back to students is low (and still, what is so hip and progressive about not expecting my employer to provide workspace for me??).
    I was tasked to represent my department in a University meeting regarding what our needs for research support were after Covid. Some people in my department said that “the university should invest in software that allows us to work collaboratively and share things while we are working from home”. Yes, also called coming into the office and talking to your colleagues. Fortunately I got away with not taking that stupid request into the meeting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lemmings, these are trusting, wide-eyed lemmings. It’s great you stood up to this lunacy but it’s shocking that the lunacy was so eagerly embraced by so many.


  2. Not related: but have you seen the birth-rate stats starting to trickle in from Q1 2022? Not everyone reports that early, but there are a bunch of countries that do, and it’s looking a bit like a worldwide drop in birthrates. Percentages vary– worst I’ve seen so far is Taiwan at more than 20% over Q1 2021. But so far, have seen similar but lower-magnitude numbers from Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, UK, several US states and Hungary.

    Lots of rushing to blame it on the economy. But “economy” is social change. Social change like that doesn’t happen between December and January, you know? Haven’t seen a peep in the MSM about any of it, but it’s all public data.

    Interestingly, the data from Hungary is available on a county-by-county level, and seems to map pretty neatly onto vax rates.



    1. For the economy to have such a gigantic and abrupt effect, there must be some major cataclysm on the scale of the collapse of the USSR. Nothing like that happened in the countries you list.

      So yes, definitely something weird but also something nobody will study because, as we know, women’s reproductive freedom doesn’t include being able to have the children she wants to have. Unless it has to do with interrupting a pregnancy, it’s not part of reproductive rights.


        1. Yeah I saw that. He said some really wonderful things about how the cancer gave him the freedom to tell the truth. He seemed unusually well-prepared for death. I admire him.


      1. Yeah, I hate that “reproductive rights” in this country is never, ever about decent maternity leave, being able to take time off work to care for sick kids without worrying about job security, or adequate testing (or informed consent) about medical interventions that may affect future fertility. It is always, relentlessly, about the freedom to not have children. Because not having kids is better for your employer’s bottom line, I guess.


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