You’re looking at your phone right now. Right? A bill for which you pay, each month. But hold on. Hasn’t that same personal device now become one of your primary instruments for virtual teaching this fall? What about your laptop, headphones, microphone, tablet, stylus, speakers, camera, printer, printer paper, hard drive, wireless backups, cloud storage, router, modem, internet service bill? Software purchases, tech upgrades? Desk, desk chair, and ergonomic desk set-up? Rent on the living space in which you now, “work”? Who pays for all that? Who pays for the technology, office space and supplies needed to carry out your job in the virtual university?
Our Unit 2 bargaining team has addressed the growing need for technology purchases by members of Unit 2, Sessional Instructors and Hourly Rated Music Faculty, by asking a technology fund be created to aid with the demands on the current Professional Development Fund by these technology-related expenses. But the employer has categorically refused. Given the move to online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members require additional technological support for the tools and resources they need.
It feels especially mean to thank us for all the amazing sacrifices we made transitioning to online learning, time spent learning new skills and retooling traditional courses to teach online, and yet dismiss our needs at bargaining table.
During this critical time for members of CUPE3906, we’ll be releasing weekly cartoons on our media channels highlighting issues important to the union as we begin the fall semester.
We want to hear from you as we roll out this weekly comic series examining the realities of McMaster education workers during campus closure amid a pandemic: What challenges both routine and new, do educational workers now face? We’re looking for a hashtag to use with this campaign. We came up with #direworld and #sessionalequality. But we think you can do better than that. We’re also looking for cartoon submissions from members on topics related to the realities of educational work at McMaster. Have ideas? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. The winning two cartoon submissions and the winning two hashtags will be used in our social media campaign, and will earn those members a $25 gift card.