Thursday, March 27, 2008

not norma rae

Yawn. I feel like going back to bed.

My TA union is in negotiations and thinking of striking. Quel botheration. I agree with a couple of their demands, but not all of them, and not enough to strike. From what I've heard, I think this is timed so that striking would happen during final exams--that is to say, no TAs to grade finals. I guess it also gives the TAs an advantage in that there's almost no TAing over the summer, so you lose a few weeks of pay, and then go on with your summer--there's no pressure to go back to work. And the professors would have to grade their own finals? I don't know how this works. For some profs that would come out to 500+ final exams. On the other hand, grad students don't exactly have a lot of money and can't necessarily do without the pay.

Personally, I'd rather be paid. The union is looking for a $10-ish increase in pay, to match some other universities in Canada--the top ones, like Toronto. Their reasoning is that McGill calls/treats itself as a Top University, and therefore should pay the same. But there are two differences that I can see (a) the standard of living is lower in Quebec; (b) the tuition is lower than in those universities (except for international students, which many TAs are.) For myself, as a Quebec resident, my tuition has been so low it comes out to more money than I would have made with higher pay.

The other issues which I agree with, could probably be settled without striking. Oh well, we'll see what happens.


Well the great grading binge is over, but I still spent hours adding up grades and adding them to the spreadsheet etc. I need a pancake break. Also got my taxes done. And I resisted taking a nap so I can go to bed at the usual 4 or 5 AM. Except... it's almost 4 AM and now I want pancakes and some TV!

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