Sunday, March 16, 2008

Suicides of part-time lecturers

Hyejin Kim at Global Voices online has interesting piece up about the exploitation of part-time academic labour, in my mind a global issue. (Part time lecturers here in Canada make 5ooo $cdn per course taught. At my school, teaching assistants are unionized but part-time lecturers are not, thus it is more profitable to T.A. a course as the full time rate is also 5000; the amount of work is strictly regulated and often less than half of what the instructor works.)

Part-time lecturers teach 40 percent of all college classes in Korea. But their treatment is the worst of irregular jobs. Other part-time job employees receive 50-55 percent of the salary of the same regular jobs, but part-time lecturers receive less than 1/3.

The lecture fee of the part-time lecturers at national and state universities is about 40,000 won (US 40 dollars) per hour. A lecturer who teaches western art at Seoul National University said, “last semester, I taught a three hour class and received 420,000 won (US 420 dollars) per month.”

Employment is extremely unstable. A part-time lecturer at a private college said, “In the new semester, if the school calls me, then I can teach. Otherwise my contract is done. A research assistant informs us by phone.” Kim Dong Ae (62) who leads a part-time lecturer labor union said, “if the salary doesn’t come on time and I call the administration, they answer why we bug them with such tiny money. We have to put up with this unequal treatment, but nowhere can we complain about it.”

Here's the link to the article if you want read more.

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