July 02, 2007

How much is enough?

There is still no contract between the union that represents the faculty of Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities and the administrators (PASSHE).

The union is seeking a wage increase of 20% over four years. The PASSHE is offering a more reasonable increase of 2% or 3% a year. This is about 11% over the four year contract period. The union claims with PASSHE’s proposal they will actually loose about 7% of purchasing power over the life of the contract.

Oh my! What an outrage, our poor professors will be living in cardboard boxes and lining up at the food kitchens. We can’t have that now can we. We better come up with some more money for them. Where does the money come from? The rest of the hard working Pennsylvanian’s that work 12 months a year and work 8+ hours per day.

For the 2006-2007 the average full-time faculty member earned (or a better term to use is made) about $70,000 (source: Indiana Gazette). This is a nine month salary and they aren’t usually 8 hour days either!

I understand and accept the fact that education at all levels is extremely important. However, you shouldn’t want to be a professor, teacher, or instructor for the money. You do it for the good of society and because you enjoy it. The best motivator is the work it self, not the money.

I also question if the members of the union really support the union leaders or do they just go with the flow and do what the union leaders (bosses) tell them because that is what they are supposed to do or else there will be retribution against them.

Just for the record. I am an Adjunct Instructor so I do know what it is like to teach. Yes, I do get paid for my services and the money is indeed nice supplement to my regular job, but I do it because I enjoy teaching. The more I teach, the more I learn!

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