And the aside of the day award

goes to a union sister, also in negotiations: “The Employer seems still reluctant to get to the table. Feels like one of those bad boyfriend kind of things, you know, where you keep waiting for the guy to call or to show up, but he never does. Keep refreshing your lipstick from time to time, just in case but still, he doesn’t come.” Heh. That will really creep out our chief negotiator. Think I will message him now.


And the photo of the day award

goes to the group of graduate students who threatened Eddy Campbell with a Kraken:

Then, they or one of their sympathizers left the following message in the comments section:

Deep beneath the foaming billows,
Something suddenly amiss,
As a creature wakes from slumber
In the bottomless abyss.
And a panic fills the ocean,
Every fish and frenzied flea,
For the Kraken has awakened at the bottom of the sea…

Best. Metaphor. Ever.


One reader finally

blew their stack in the comment section after yet another media story about overpaid professors, this time about MAFA:

Academics train on starvation wages until they are 30 years old. Then, 15% of them manage (often after another 5-10 years in part-time work) to get professorial jobs. I made less than a kindergarten teacher until I was over 40. Now I still make 1/3 of what doctors and lawyers make, with more training than either. I work hard every day; my work is flexible, which is why I chose not to be a lawyer, but it’s not “easy”, and like every professional, I’m always “on,” even when I’m on vacation. I mark sometimes more than 300 papers/term, I teach classes with 150+ students. If you think this work is so cushy, be my guest: study for 10 more years, apply over and over again with the other 300+ applicants for every professorial position, spend 5 years as a postdoc making $25,000 a year, and then glide into retirement on your non-existent pension. Oh, and have fun with the marking, too.

Comrade colleagues

Yes we are professors, researchers and librarians. And yes we are on strike. Do you have a problem with that?

Vignette: The picket captain who jammed the official picket-captain orange toque on top of his Tilley hat.
Vignette: The senior colleague with the bad leg who picketed from his lawn chair.
Vignette: The senior colleague with gout, gamely limping along the line.
Vignette: The group of students who showed up with protesting-snowman cookies.

Okay, so we’re not quite the Teamsters or the Longshoremen, but we have our own charm, no?

NDP leader Dominic Cardy

dog_with_attitudehas, with no doubt the best intentions in the world, called upon the Alward government to intervene in the labour dispute between AUNBT and UNB management. Using a colourful but somewhat unflattering metaphor, he comments on government underfunding of PSE:

“The government can’t nearly freeze funding to universities and then act surprised when the recruitment issue can’t be solved,” Cardy said. “You can’t take two dogs, not give them enough to eat, and then act surprised when they start to fight.”

At the risk of straining this conceit beyond the reader’s tolerance, I would add that if there are two dogs and one scuttles out of the room, nothing will get resolved either.

But — and I am speaking here as someone who lives with a dog — anyone who knows dogs knows that they instinctively understand how to work out things between themselves and are usually best left alone to do so. Not always pretty if you are squeamish about growling, but this method results in an outcome that both accept.

And it respects the dogs.

Just read

this article in the excellent Brunswickan (the student newspaper on the Fredericton UNB campus) and was struck by the following quote from Peter McDougall, VP of Human Resources and Organizational Development:

“If a strike happens, it’s important to understand that it’s only the full-time members of AUNBT who are actually on strike,” McDougall said. “The university will continue to be open and the administrative units will continue to function. Other facilities on campus will remain open.”

Perhaps he was misquoted.