Thursday, June 10, 2010

Followup Re: Not Being Paid for Work

Remember when I blogged about asking to be paid for my labor? (here),

Today I got an official memo from a big wig:

June 10, 2010

TO: [me] English Department
FROM: [higher up guy]
[his title]
RE: Payment for Committee Work Outside of Contract Period


[My first name],

It has come to my attention that you have inquired about financial compensation for your participation in a meeting of the [Name of Committee] that took place on Wednesday, May 26, 2010.

I appreciate and understand your interest in being compensated for your service. However, the modern academy, with all of its unique features, freedoms, and drawbacks, is built on the premise that its members, while primarily employed during the academic year, are engaged in meaningful professional enrichment throughout the entire year and, in fact, their entire lives. This should not be a blank check for the abuse of dedicated professionals, but rather a recognition of the unique, variable, and often nonstandard “work hours” and “workloads” of the professorate. Just as each individual’s weekly work schedule cannot be effectively constrained to be conducted only according to the traditional work day, the institution’s work schedule cannot always be effectively isolated to the standard contract period. Unfortunately, in this particular case, the important work of the [Name of Committee] extended beyond the end of the contract period.

Again, I appreciate and understand your position and fully respect your freedom to recuse yourself from work expectations outside of the official contract period. While I am unable to retroactively compensate you for the May 26th meeting, I am able to work with the [Name of Committee] following the Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook to find a suitable replacement if the occasion presents itself and if you were interested in my doing so.

I wish I could be more helpful.

Thank you.

[cc list including dean and deanling]



I can't quite believe this is legal. Guess I'll be looking at the faculty handbook.

5 comments:

  1. What! What a condescending, patronizing load of smirt from someone who gets paid for the whole year. Blechh.

    My word veri is "nardcon," which sounds a lot like this.

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  2. In recognition of your dedication and professionalism, and the unique needs of academics, they're not paying you for your work? How nice. How very flexible and accommodating of them.

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  3. This should not be a blank check for the abuse of dedicated professionals, but rather a recognition of the unique, variable, and often nonstandard “work hours” and “workloads” of the professorate.

    1. I am so not following the logic here...and can't help picturing a retro ad with the tagline, "It's not abuse, it's recognition!"

    2. What's with the quotation marks around the references to work?

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  4. that's just a fuck you letter. you're right to be really angry.

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  5. Ai ai ai! That's a kiss off if there every was one.

    Let me just say: the expectation that faculty will work for free over the summer is so completely ingrained at my institution that I was actually surprised when I read your first post about this: "What does she mean, she should get paid?" Thinking about it further, I've become more and more enraged about my own naive complicity.

    Viva la revolution!

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