The following is excerpted from a column by Albor Ruiz published today in the New York Daily News:
If you thought only fast food workers, home attendants and the like were abused and exploited by their employers and were willing to protest and risk arrest for demanding their rights, think again.
College professors — an exalted profession by any definition — increasingly find themselves in the same boat. And as they showed with their actions last week, the instructors are fed up with being mistreated and are also prepared to be arrested fighting for fairness and respect. . . .
Almost incredibly — and completely stupidly — if the current trend in sacrificing higher education at the altar of profit continues, it won’t be long until colleges are totally staffed by adjunct faculty, with no contracts, few or no benefits and wages as miserable as those of fast-food workers.
According to Paul Buchheit, a college instructor and author, while adjuncts made up less than one-quarter of instructional staff in 1969, they now compose more than three-quarters of instructors. They make a median wage of about $2,700 per course, with few or no benefits, Buchheit added. The pay is so meager that, despite their years of burning the midnight oil, and notwithstanding their advanced degrees, many are forced to take food stamps in order to put food on the table.
Shameful and — I insist — completely stupid.