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TASA WORKING DOCUMENT: RESPONSES TO CONTINGENT LABOUR IN ACADEMIA

The following document was put together by a team of TASA members. Namely, Kristin Natalier, Erika Altman, Mark Bahnisch, Tom Barnes, Suzanne Egan, Christine Malatzky, Christian Mauri & Dan Woodman

Introduction and aims of the document
In December 2015, the TASA Executive approved the establishment of a Working Group to identify the key challenges facing contingent academic staff, and recommend practices that might mitigate those challenges. This working document sets out the key challenges facing contingent academics, and a suite of practices that can be implemented by individuals to address them. They are not substitutes for broader change. Both TASA and the Working Group recognise the structural, institutional and ideological logics that have driven the higher education sector’s reliance on contingent academic labour, and argue that these dynamics must be addressed as matters of social justice and the long term flourishing of sociology within and beyond higher education.

This document is primarily speaking to those academics who have some say over the employment, management and support of contingent academic staff (even if such responsibilities are not formally recognised by their institutions). However, we are not suggesting that this is an ‘us and them’ issue, nor should our approach be interpreted as an oppositional understanding of different institutional positions. The strength and vibrancy of sociology as a discipline is dependent on a common interest and commitment to advocating for and building sustainable academic practice. You download the full document here (Word 43kb).

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