A Northern Correspondent Follows-Up

This from a (former) partial-load faculty member, who demonstrates that we have to assert the value of what we do before we can expect our employers — or our real employers, the citizens of Ontario — to respect that value.

It’s me, the author of this post.  Wow, I was in good form that day, if I may say so myself!

In March 2010 my college made a “business” decision, effective May 1, 2010, to pay me %40 less to do the same work –  which would include continuing to develop my own courses, thanks very much. 

In May 2010, I made the decision to withhold my services.  What lives between my ears has value, and nobody can have it without my co-operation!  Fortunately for me, my husband’s excellent unionized industrial job (with all the bells and whistles) makes it possible for me to do so.  Thanks, honey!

Surprise!  In October 2010 my former school’s Dean called to ask if I would develop a new online general education course.  This course was on the books for two years, but remained undeveloped, for a January 2011 delivery!  Nothing like due diligence from management!

Having negotiated more money than I was offered, I took on the challenge – more for a personal mental adventure than to pay the mortgage.  Having finished creating the course, I have now — no surprise — been offered bottom dollar to “teach” the course in its Beta run, because it is already developed!!!!  Har de har har!

This at a time when my college has been in an absolute feeding frenzy of hiring new administrators – about one per month over the last six months, and two more announced in the last two weeks!

Administrate what? I ask.  Not higher education, just the “business” of it!

As we say up North, BUH-BYE LA!

Clearly, there are lessons here about the impact of online education on the conditions of our employment.  (Outsourcing, anyone?).  And maybe a lesson as well about the significance on one decent, unionized job (her husband’s) on an entire family’s long-term welfare.

What strikes me about reading this, however, is the realization that — while it may be easier and more effective for us to assert the value of our work collectively than individually — no collective stance  is viable until we develop and uphold individual convictions about the value of our work.

Feel feel to share yours at ontariocollegeprof@yahoo.com

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