How feasible is the higher ed Scabocalypse*?

*better portmanteau suggestions welcome

Hey dudes! If you are higher-ed types chances are you’ve been following the action (or lack thereof) at LIU-Brooklyn, where the faculty were locked out for a week and their courses taught by replacements, also called “scabs” in labor parlance. There was a not-insubstantial amount of fear that the lockout could go on indefinitely if enough underemployed PhDs were willing to cross picket lines to work these jobs, aka “scab” as a verb. A ginormous rash of bad press ended the lockout (though not the contract negotiations), but the question remains:

How many PhDs (and other would-be professors) would scab? Would you?

If you have the 45 seconds to spare and love me (and I LOVE YOU), would you mind filling out my two-question survey that asks precisely this question?

Thank you!


2 thoughts on “How feasible is the higher ed Scabocalypse*?

  1. I wouldn’t scab. I’m a union organizer, and I see crossing the picket lines as the lowest form of betrayal of labor solidarity. It’s very self-defeating, too, because the moment you scab, you open yet another door to somebody scabbing you out of your job.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would not scab in a strike that was solely and completely to secure better pay and working conditions for PTF, which I am (that is a strike called by PTF in order to better the pay, benefits and working conditions for PTF only). However, I would cross a picket line in a minute if it was to secure better wages and benefits for FTF, or to protect FTF jobs, or FTF rights to overloads, or disproportionately better retirement and post retirement benefits, or better job security that largely covered full time tenure or tenure track lines. The higher ed labor unions have conspired to keep loads of PTF low by state statute (in the case of Caifornia), have conspired to create and maintain discriminatory dues stuctures–whereby PTF working multiple districts can (and often do) pay two, three, or four times the per caps upstairs to state and national, and these unions have, in general and in virtually all cases, failed to adequately honor the representational requirements of collective bargaining on behalf of PTF. In some cases (PTF load limitations of 67%) the edu-unions have even used, presumably, “PTF generated dues money” to lobby for legislation HOSTILE TO THE INTERESTS oF PTF (or against legislation meant to protect and enhance working conditions for PTF) If a penny of union money is ever used to lobby, in any way or context, against the interests of PTF, then the union has, in my view, violated the trust that would be returned by an absolute “don’t cross the picket line” argument stance.


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