In one of the subjects that I tutor, I teach students about the social determinants of health. One [social determinant] is high levels of job related stress and the impacts on physical and mental health. I don’t tell them that as a casual academic that is exactly what you get. Precarious employment status means – you have to self-organise: find new contracts and chase work (very humiliating), underemployment (periods of time where there are not any opportunities for any kinds of teaching work (the reason I hate Christmas), little job control (you have to take orders from above – if you do not you will not work there again), little hope of transitioning into stable employment (full-time jobs – as if),  no sick leave (teaching 2 days after you have a radical nephrectomy – just try not to bleed in class), no reward for long service (you’ve been tutoring for how long?) and the run off effects of…  housing precarity (no income to pay the rent – I have to do deliveroo when desparate), high anxiety levels (impacts on productivity), low levels of self-esteem (I must be doing something wrong), no stable place to work (forced to hot desk), no recognition (invisible in the workplace), having to negotiate IT, email, timesheets for each employer (try having different platforms where one works on internet explorer, one on chrome, one on mozilla…etc etc) which all lead to: real doubt about promoting the benefits of graduate study to students when the university system transitions to a corporate model that aims to maximize profits rather than value employees and foster intellectual thought.

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