The struggle for social justice has no intrinsic direction. With every step forward we seem to find ourselves pushed back. In moments of success those who take advantage of the victories at times were those most silent during the struggle. Yet we can maintain hope that it is in the partial victories, the half steps, and the hesitant actions that foundations for fundamental change can be laid. This is a partial manifesto for a better future in the university.
A better future in the university must build upon a better future for the working class.
A better future in the university places improvements for working people at the heart of the movement.
Workers, not customers, not donors, not managers, workers must be at the center of the movement for a better future.
A living wage for all workers is the principal upon which all compensation for labour in the university is to be based. This means:
- an immediate freeze on all salaries in excess of 150,000 per year until the lowest salaries all exceed the minimum living wage for Vancouver (currently 42,000 per year).
- establish compensation grid for all staff in which the difference between top salary and bottom salary is no more than 3:1.
- shift from 'funding' graduate students to employing them as full time workers with a living wage represented by a trade union.
This builds and elaborates a set of comments I previously posted on twitter.
Previous social justice posts.
- on academic freedom
- racialization is personal
- gossip & other forms of social control
- coping with the tenure track
- combatting excellence
- gender, race, and power