“More recently you have the positive psychologists who are deluded enough to believe that happiness is a hallmark of mental health – which has gotta be the stupidest theory that’s come out in the last, I would say, probably 2000 years.”
The union that represents me as a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto is holding a strike vote.
They are calling for more generous funding packages for TAs, increased health and childcare benefits, and a few other things. U of T is especially stingy when it comes to graduate funding packages. The standard package of $23,000 minus about $8,000 tuition (and assuming 210 hours of work as a TA) doesn’t cover the cost of living in Toronto, requiring most TAs to either borrow or do additional outside work.
I don’t know how I feel about the strike vote. I am pretty wary about unions in general (especially when it comes to public sector unions). That is because of how they often seem to defend particular interests as opposed to the general welfare, and often establish and perpetuate inequalities between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’. I also don’t know what the prospects are for a strike actually improving TA pay at U of T.
Voting goes on until November 18th, so I will need to do some more thinking and decide before then.