The good thing about class consciousness is that you begin to realize that no matter how long you went to school, your problems are fundamentally the same as all the other people whose bank account balance is as low as yours.
Duquesne University is a Catholic school that is doing its very best to offend the sensibilities of Jesus. For years, the school’s adjunct professors have been trying to unionize. Due to the fact that adjunct professor is a shitty low-paid job with no job security! A pretty good reason to unionize! And for years, Duquesne has been fighting their attempts to join together to protect themselves, claiming that such a union of low-paid professors would actually infringe on the school’s religious freedom.
And now, Duquesne has taken an even bolder move: last week, the school abruptly announced that ten of its 11 English Department adjunct professors are being laid off. This is the same department described as “ground zero” for the union campaign. Of course, the school says that these layoffs have “absolutely nothing to do with the union.”
Why would you even think that? Paranoid....
Anyhow, the union has now filed complaints against the school for unfair labor practices—namely, you know, laying off a bunch of professors committed to unionizing while the school has a case pending before the National Labor Relations Board about its ability to weasel out of allowing its employees to unionize, due to Jesus. This would be real rat bastard behavior if true, which, needless to say, it is not, because the school was not thinking about this at all when it laid all those people off. Why would you even think that? (In These Times quotes this simple explanation from one Duquesne English department administrator: “Stinnett explained that there was no ‘directive given to me ‘not to re-hire the adjunct faculty,’’ but that adjuncts were simply at the bottom of the list, and there turned out to be no courses for them.” Ok?)