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University Lecturers: I don't make enough for rent


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I'm probably going to sound awful here - i feel I've become increasingly brutal recently - but I don't really have a terrible amount of sympathy for these people.

This is not the same as an exploited workfare person or someone earning minimum wage on a zero hours contract because they have no other option or skills. These are surely intelligent people.

But they are not acting like it. Take the first chap. He says he earns 6k per year, and it's a struggle to make ends meet.

Even earning minimum hourly wage - which I'm guessing he earns more than, that's what, about 800 hours per year of work? About 16 hours per week? But he's probably on at least double that wage, so < 8 hours per week.

Surely he and others like them should

1) have worked out a *long* time ago that if the hours are this haphazard, then they might want to make alternative plans or revenue streams and

2) what else are the doing with the masses of time? Just sitting by a phone waiting for someone to tell them they've got a lecture? I simply don't understand that mentality.

It feels like their solution is that they should be paid a full time salary regardless of the (absence of) demand for their work. Or maybe that doing a lecture should be £80 per hour so that doing 800 hours pays proper money. If that were the case, great. Sign me up to be a lecturer.

It isn't and these people are knocking 50! Instead of bleating about your choice - a choice that seems utterly rectifiable given they must be somewhat smart - find something else to do to earn some money on the side and work on a plan to traniton perhaps. They are powerless to change the system as it is - so they simply have to adapt.

(Dons suit of armor) 

 

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1 hour ago, Frugal Git said:

I'm probably going to sound awful here - i feel I've become increasingly brutal recently - but I don't really have a terrible amount of sympathy for these people.

This is not the same as an exploited workfare person or someone earning minimum wage on a zero hours contract because they have no other option or skills. These are surely intelligent people.

But they are not acting like it. Take the first chap. He says he earns 6k per year, and it's a struggle to make ends meet.

Even earning minimum hourly wage - which I'm guessing he earns more than, that's what, about 800 hours per year of work? About 16 hours per week? But he's probably on at least double that wage, so < 8 hours per week.

Surely he and others like them should

1) have worked out a *long* time ago that if the hours are this haphazard, then they might want to make alternative plans or revenue streams and

2) what else are the doing with the masses of time? Just sitting by a phone waiting for someone to tell them they've got a lecture? I simply don't understand that mentality.

It feels like their solution is that they should be paid a full time salary regardless of the (absence of) demand for their work. Or maybe that doing a lecture should be £80 per hour so that doing 800 hours pays proper money. If that were the case, great. Sign me up to be a lecturer.

It isn't and these people are knocking 50! Instead of bleating about your choice - a choice that seems utterly rectifiable given they must be somewhat smart - find something else to do to earn some money on the side and work on a plan to traniton perhaps. They are powerless to change the system as it is - so they simply have to adapt.

(Dons suit of armor) 

 

I totally agree with you.  This situation is sad, but much in the same way as seeing someone who self-harms is sad.  If it's all so horrible -- then stop doing it.

What exactly did the first guy think was going to happen when he got a PhD in Political Sociology?  My brother is of a similar age, studied for a PhD in philosophy, and now drives a bus, and is actually rather happy doing so.

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Welcome to the real world, pal. This is what the left no longer fight against.  The unions have abandoned you.  Zero hours and self-employment are the new norms.  Your beloved left (he is a lecturer after all) are too busy cheerleading uncontrolled immigration and the EU, because that's part of the new leftist template. Old-fashioned workers' rights and the cost of living? How 70s and 80s that is!

 

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1 hour ago, Frugal Git said:

I'm probably going to sound awful here - i feel I've become increasingly brutal recently - but I don't really have a terrible amount of sympathy for these people.

This is not the same as an exploited workfare person or someone earning minimum wage on a zero hours contract because they have no other option or skills. These are surely intelligent people.

But they are not acting like it. Take the first chap. He says he earns 6k per year, and it's a struggle to make ends meet.

Even earning minimum hourly wage - which I'm guessing he earns more than, that's what, about 800 hours per year of work? About 16 hours per week? But he's probably on at least double that wage, so < 8 hours per week.

Surely he and others like them should

1) have worked out a *long* time ago that if the hours are this haphazard, then they might want to make alternative plans or revenue streams and

2) what else are the doing with the masses of time? Just sitting by a phone waiting for someone to tell them they've got a lecture? I simply don't understand that mentality.

It feels like their solution is that they should be paid a full time salary regardless of the (absence of) demand for their work. Or maybe that doing a lecture should be £80 per hour so that doing 800 hours pays proper money. If that were the case, great. Sign me up to be a lecturer.

It isn't and these people are knocking 50! Instead of bleating about your choice - a choice that seems utterly rectifiable given they must be somewhat smart - find something else to do to earn some money on the side and work on a plan to traniton perhaps. They are powerless to change the system as it is - so they simply have to adapt.

(Dons suit of armor) 

 

Yeah, I did a double take at his £6000 a year.  That means he has a shedload of time on his hands.  An intelligent person with that amount of time, and he spends it boiling lentils and complaining. 

Having said that, the world HAS changed.  He's my age, and he will have seen the changes I have seen.  When I was in my late teens and 20s, in the UK (actually, the western world), ambitions could a lot more easily be fulfilled.  Back then, you got mocked for being caught shopping in a discounter shop.  Now it's the norm for the middle classes.  Factory work back then could put you firmly on the housing ladder (one salary).  Ambition was rife whether you were skilled or unskilled.  In my most recent years in the UK, I saw that same ambition in Eastern Europeans.  I could sense their excitement.  Their situation and leverage is very good.  That's why they're in the UK.  I would be too if I were them.   WE (British) used to have that about us.  Now that's been eroded away via high house prices and utility prices, stagnant wages, less hours available to work, and more and more competition for jobs.

So to sum up, given his age - maybe he's just demoralised to the point of not knowing what to do next. 

Edited by canbuywontbuy
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1 hour ago, Frugal Git said:

I'm probably going to sound awful here - i feel I've become increasingly brutal recently - but I don't really have a terrible amount of sympathy for these people.

This is not the same as an exploited workfare person or someone earning minimum wage on a zero hours contract because they have no other option or skills. These are surely intelligent people.

But they are not acting like it. Take the first chap. He says he earns 6k per year, and it's a struggle to make ends meet.

That's entirely true, if you approach life as one big system of economic game theory.

It entirely discounts the existence of altruistic motivations, which, if we game theory things as a society as a whole rather than on an individual basis, we ought to be aiming to maximise. If someone is inspired to perform some useful social task, like research or teaching (which a lecturer can) and if they have the ability to do so (which these people demonstrably do, being hired by the universities), as a society we ought to support that. The altruistic impulse will enable society to gain.

If someone can perform a socially useful task, or an economically well compensated but socially useless one, and we give them 50% of the salary of the "good" job which they will happily do the useful job for, we as a society have gained 50% of the market value of that person's labour (as set by the "be a ******* but earn money" option) in free social good (research, teaching, what have you). If we offer them 10% and they can't afford to do it, we have lost that "free" productivity as a society.

Which is really a longer winded way of saying that it's not about individual decisions or individual lives but about what we value and reward as a society. Even in pragmatic terms.

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8 hours ago, One-percent said:

Agree, it depends on the focus. But I would challenge the notion that much of it is really groundbreakingly original. Those great strides have in the main long gone. 

You're effectively saying that we've made all the important progress and now it's just refinement.  That's an incredibly small minded view.  I expect us to continue to develop new ideas faster than ever, not slow down.  

If we are teaching our undergraduates to think like that then we are screwed.

Edited by Gurgle
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10 hours ago, One-percent said:

It's more that on emarking on that doctorate, you have no idea how bad the working conditions are in HE.  You work hard, play the game, and then at the end of that particularly gruelling and impoverished journey, you become aware of the poor contractural arrangements. By then it is way too late. Who outside of academia would want a PhD graduate?  You would be seen as a threat or of no practical use in the real world, or both.

the number of people who say to me, I would love to work in HE.  I look at them and think, you don't, your really don't 

HE, up to the the mid 90s, used to be great.

Now its not.

PhDs are a funny creature.

I was offered the chance to do one after completing my Masters.

I turned it down for a couple of reasons. I did not have enough knowledge- Id done an Honours + Masters in one long drag.

My subject(software/comms) is very vocational/applied - there's more research done by companies than UK unis.

I just got the feeling it was just grants chasing than research. I was right.

Id been to a couple of academia dos. I found a lot of the people strange.

As far as employing Phd goes, it depends. If the Phd has studied something relevant to my job and theyve picked up skills then I have no problems. But a lot of academics dont tend to be most pragmatic/practical. Some are. Some are previous flowers.

Most Phd fails the questions: Why did you do yourPhd. What use is your research?

Most Uni research gets looked at twice and filed. Useless.

And as far as recruiting a Phnd in a humantiies or social science .. Nah! Leave that to Starbucks.

 

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12 hours ago, One-percent said:

Try further education for an even poorer contractural experience. According to research done by the lecturers' union, ucu, FE as an occupation, had the second highest proportion of casual staff, only beaten by catering.  I worked in FE as an hourly paid lecturer in the mid eighties.  I was paid £15 per hour. 30 years on, the going rate is only about £22 per hour.  This is for each teaching hour.  On top of this is the prep and marking, which is unpaid. I worked out a few years ago that for an intensive, academic course, this would take the hourly rate under the minimum wage 

As someone who worked in FE for nearly 40 years in various capacities, I feel that One-percent has summed it up very well.  FE is in crisis and the working conditions have been in steep decline since a process called 'Incorporation' happened in the early 90's; by the way Incorporation has been a disaster and is nothing to celebrate.  The upshot is Colleges where some Full Time staff are claiming Housing Benefit and some Principles are earning over £200,000.

FE used to be about education and second chances for those who didn't quite get 'Education' when they were at School.  Its hard to know what they are now but in terms of a place to work they are definitely to be avoided.

Edited by dougless
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7 hours ago, Frugal Git said:

I'm probably going to sound awful here - i feel I've become increasingly brutal recently - but I don't really have a terrible amount of sympathy for these people.

This is not the same as an exploited workfare person or someone earning minimum wage on a zero hours contract because they have no other option or skills. These are surely intelligent people.

But they are not acting like it. Take the first chap. He says he earns 6k per year, and it's a struggle to make ends meet.

Even earning minimum hourly wage - which I'm guessing he earns more than, that's what, about 800 hours per year of work? About 16 hours per week? But he's probably on at least double that wage, so < 8 hours per week.

Surely he and others like them should

1) have worked out a *long* time ago that if the hours are this haphazard, then they might want to make alternative plans or revenue streams and

2) what else are the doing with the masses of time? Just sitting by a phone waiting for someone to tell them they've got a lecture? I simply don't understand that mentality.

It feels like their solution is that they should be paid a full time salary regardless of the (absence of) demand for their work. Or maybe that doing a lecture should be £80 per hour so that doing 800 hours pays proper money. If that were the case, great. Sign me up to be a lecturer.

It isn't and these people are knocking 50! Instead of bleating about your choice - a choice that seems utterly rectifiable given they must be somewhat smart - find something else to do to earn some money on the side and work on a plan to traniton perhaps. They are powerless to change the system as it is - so they simply have to adapt.

(Dons suit of armor) 

 

No I agree.

He's a part-time researcher in 'political sociology' . What the fck does he expect? 10M of google stock?

If he so smart he should be able to work it out - hes doing a bottom end makework bit of academia, to keep another makework academic in a job, which keeps a makework research grant body in work.

 

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1 minute ago, dougless said:

As someone who worked in FE for nearly 40 years in various capacities, I feel that One-percent has summed it up very well.  FE is in crisis and the working conditions have been in steep decline since a process called 'Incorporation' happened in the early 90's; by the way Incorporation has been a disaster and is nothing to celebrate.  The upshot is Colleges where some Full Time staff are claiming Housing Benefit and some Principles are earning over £200,000.

FE used to be about education and second chances for those who didn't quite get 'Education' when they were at School.  Its hard to know what they are now but in terms of a place to work they are definitely to be avoided.

Fe is a place to do pointless, deadend A levels, badly.

 

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1 hour ago, Gurgle said:

You're effectively saying that we've made all the important progress and now it's just refinement.  That's an incredibly small minded view.  I expect us to continue to develop new ideas faster than ever, not slow down.  

If we are teaching our undergraduates to think like that then we are screwed.

In many areas I feel we have yes.  Does not mean that other areas are not groundbreaking or that completely new discoveries will be made in areas yet to be discovered. But, much of the work and publications coming from HE, no and I count my own output in this category

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4 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Fe is a place to do pointless, deadend A levels, badly.

 

You clearly know very little about FE.  It has, and still manages to, offer a range of courses from sub GCSE up to Graduate courses.  It has and with luck will probably continue to provide valuable courses BUT its a hideous working environment.

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1 minute ago, One-percent said:

In many areas I feel we have yes.  Does not mean that other areas are not groundbreaking or that completely new discoveries will be made in areas yet to be discovered. But, much of the work and publications coming from HE, no and I count my own output in this category

I tink weve mde the obvious discovery. The other ones are going to be a lot harder.

Apart from Economics where you get a Nobel prize (medal) for stating the fcking obvious.

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1 minute ago, dougless said:

You clearly know very little about FE.  It has, and still manages to, offer a range of courses from sub GCSE up to Graduate courses.  It has and with luck will probably continue to provide valuable courses BUT its a hideous working environment.

Thats not FE is meant to be.

FE degree levels are about as degree level as an NVQ 3 is an A level. They are laughable. They just do not have the people, resources or students to achive any of that level.

Second chance with a vocational bent - ONC/HNC in Engineering and construction nails FE at its best. Then the ki has a chance to go onto work or go to Uni - if they do A levels maths at night school.

I monitor a couple of FE college closely.

They offer A levels in sociology, media studies, and psychology. And teach them badly. So much so, theyve had A level funding withdrawn.

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5 minutes ago, dougless said:

As someone who worked in FE for nearly 40 years in various capacities, I feel that One-percent has summed it up very well.  FE is in crisis and the working conditions have been in steep decline since a process called 'Incorporation' happened in the early 90's; by the way Incorporation has been a disaster and is nothing to celebrate.  The upshot is Colleges where some Full Time staff are claiming Housing Benefit and some Principles are earning over £200,000.

FE used to be about education and second chances for those who didn't quite get 'Education' when they were at School.  Its hard to know what they are now but in terms of a place to work they are definitely to be avoided.

I remember the golden years of the silver book.  

The role of colleges now is to warehouse kids who cannot get jobs.  Keep them out of the statistics and off the streets.  The kids know this (they are not stupid) and the teachers know this. Soul destroying stuff. 

Enry, pre-entry qualifications.  What is that about?  In my day, the level started at 2 unless it was special ed and these were relatively hard with written exams. Dumbed down beyond. What I teach at graduate level in HE now is no more difficult to what I taught at level 2 in FE in the 90s. 

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5 hours ago, BlokeInDurham said:

That's entirely true, if you approach life as one big system of economic game theory.

It entirely discounts the existence of altruistic motivations, which, if we game theory things as a society as a whole rather than on an individual basis, we ought to be aiming to maximise. If someone is inspired to perform some useful social task, like research or teaching (which a lecturer can) and if they have the ability to do so (which these people demonstrably do, being hired by the universities), as a society we ought to support that. The altruistic impulse will enable society to gain.

If someone can perform a socially useful task, or an economically well compensated but socially useless one, and we give them 50% of the salary of the "good" job which they will happily do the useful job for, we as a society have gained 50% of the market value of that person's labour (as set by the "be a ******* but earn money" option) in free social good (research, teaching, what have you). If we offer them 10% and they can't afford to do it, we have lost that "free" productivity as a society.

Which is really a longer winded way of saying that it's not about individual decisions or individual lives but about what we value and reward as a society. Even in pragmatic terms.

These people are getting what's known as a "price signal".

If what you're doing doesn't make you any money, then it's not a job. It's a hobby. Sure, don't let that stop you pursuing your interests, but don't expect society to just throw money at you.

I'd have loved to have been a full time musician. but - to be brutal - I'm just not good enough to make a full time job of it. I'd be scraping a living like these guys. So I did something else.

 

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1 minute ago, spyguy said:

Thats not FE is meant to be.

FE degree levels are about as degree level as an NVQ 3 is an A level. They are laughable. They just do not have the people, resources or students to achive any of that level.

Second chance with a vocational bent - ONC/HNC in Engineering and construction nails FE at its best. Then the ki has a chance to go onto work or go to Uni - if they do A levels maths at night school.

I monitor a couple of FE college closely.

They offer A levels in sociology, media studies, and psychology. And teach them badly. So much so, theyve had A level funding withdrawn.

I'm kind of with spy on this, not all of it though.

the really sad thing is the way that successive governments have hollowed out and undermined high quality vocational education. As far as I can make out, this has been done purely to hide the mass youth unemployment as cheaply as possible.  

I have a PhD student who is examining the social and transitional role of apprenticeship in the 60s and 70s. Fascinating reading and for me shows how far vocational education has deteriorated into instrumental, narrow and poor tickbox rubbish

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8 hours ago, Frugal Git said:

I'm probably going to sound awful here - i feel I've become increasingly brutal recently - but I don't really have a terrible amount of sympathy for these people.

This is not the same as an exploited workfare person or someone earning minimum wage on a zero hours contract because they have no other option or skills. These are surely intelligent people.

But they are not acting like it. Take the first chap. He says he earns 6k per year, and it's a struggle to make ends meet.

Even earning minimum hourly wage - which I'm guessing he earns more than, that's what, about 800 hours per year of work? About 16 hours per week? But he's probably on at least double that wage, so < 8 hours per week.

Surely he and others like them should

1) have worked out a *long* time ago that if the hours are this haphazard, then they might want to make alternative plans or revenue streams and

2) what else are the doing with the masses of time? Just sitting by a phone waiting for someone to tell them they've got a lecture? I simply don't understand that mentality.

It feels like their solution is that they should be paid a full time salary regardless of the (absence of) demand for their work. Or maybe that doing a lecture should be £80 per hour so that doing 800 hours pays proper money. If that were the case, great. Sign me up to be a lecturer.

It isn't and these people are knocking 50! Instead of bleating about your choice - a choice that seems utterly rectifiable given they must be somewhat smart - find something else to do to earn some money on the side and work on a plan to traniton perhaps. They are powerless to change the system as it is - so they simply have to adapt.

(Dons suit of armor) 

 

His publishing record appears to be poor, not a single first author peer reviewed paper:

 

http://goldsmiths.academia.edu/SteveHanson

 

And he's written a book, I think he's a post-modernist of some form, he appears to reject the paradigm of capital and yet still values himself in that term:

 

http://www.zero-books.net/books/small-towns-austere-times

 

Small Towns, Austere Times

The Dialectics of Deracinated Localism

This book explores small town austere Britain.

  • e-book £8.99 || $14.99Oct 31, 2014
    978-1-78099-997-5
  • Paperback £11.99 || $19.95Oct 31, 2014
    978-1-78099-998-2
 

CATEGORIZED IN
 

This book explores small town austere Britain. 
The text argues for a return to both dialectical thinking and politicized community research, in light of the current 'austere' landscape, in order to intellectually militate against centre-right think tanks. It also urges for a kind of epistemological anarchism, which refuses to view the small towns which are the subject of the book through existing 'common sense' paradigms, particularly those of state and capital, but also those of cosy localism.

REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

In his 'Little poems in prose' Baudelaire talks about feeling drunk on the promiscuity of the crowds on the Paris boulevards. There would soon be a mini-genre in painting: the rag-picker, who lived in a no-man's land at the edge of the city which doesn't immediately become countryside. Sociology had to be invented to expole new ways of living. Britain has made a big contribution in the work of Raymond Williams and that of Stuart Hall and colleagues in Birmingham. Steve Hanson recently published a superb catalogue essay for a photographic project on the Oldam Road in Manchester by Charlie Meecham. Another compliment I would pay Steve is that I get echoes of another explorer of these working-class landscapes, Ray Gosling. The exigences of a certain version of progress, and its inevitable upheavals and messes are endlessly defended as 'realistic'. As George Orwell might have said, they are a whole lot more real for some than for others.~ Dr Robert Galeta, Lecturer, Bradford School of Arts and Media, Bradford College, and translator of Deleuze's Cinema 2.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Thats not FE is meant to be.

FE degree levels are about as degree level as an NVQ 3 is an A level. They are laughable. They just do not have the people, resources or students to achive any of that level.

Second chance with a vocational bent - ONC/HNC in Engineering and construction nails FE at its best. Then the ki has a chance to go onto work or go to Uni - if they do A levels maths at night school.

I monitor a couple of FE college closely.

They offer A levels in sociology, media studies, and psychology. And teach them badly. So much so, theyve had A level funding withdrawn.

I also have to agree with much of what you are saying but don't underestimate the 'second chance' element of FE; its still there and not just in Engineering.  The point made about warehousing kids is also unfortunately true but there are still a few passionate and caring teachers left, just not many I fear.

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12 hours ago, 999house said:

I was looking for a rental outside of London and one thing that struck me was the amount of teachers that are flat sharing. I dont know why, but it really hit home that things are pretty fecked up. Teaching is a respectable job that requires a degree and authority figure that young kids look up to. To comprehend that they go home to argue about the washing up and emptying the bins in a houseshare is insane. Completely FUBAR.

Awful, make pro single parents share and that would make prices drop.

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I'm not a lecturer but I know a very intelligent guy who does some work for a university lecturing. He is an engineer. He is paid along these lines. He doesn't get paid for researching and preparing all of the lessons and the marking. His hourly rate is for face-to-face work. I have helped him with some of his lesson planning and I know it takes a lot of time. Meanwhile, people working in admin in the university or in Estates are getting a shed-load of money in salaried positions. Also there are people in offshoots of the universities, commercial arms, being similarly remunerated with large pay packets whilst those whose roles are a basic function of universities, that is educating people, are being slowly denied rights and pay. Universities are in a mess.

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  • 433 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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