Monday, November 27, 2006

On Child Care

Need something to read? The AAUP has started a blog enabling readers to comment on articles in Academe. And the PSC-CUNY Clarion for December has a great article about holiday shopping from unionized stores and manufacturers. The article also discusses the brand-new American Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers in Pensacola, FL. These drivers are fighting to be paid minimum wage and to be fully reimbursed for their gasoline expenses. If they can do it, while working two jobs and facing union-busting from a huge national corporation, so can others.

Incidentally, NYU has reserved $750,000 per year (scroll to the bottom after clicking on the link) to help administrators and faculty with the cost of child care. This is absolutely great. It is, however, another example of the ways that life inside NYU is economically unequal. NYU administrators and faculty are, in general, well-paid. Finding and paying for child care may not be easy (this is New York, after all, and NYU faculty do work long hours to conduct the research they need for tenure). But faculty and administrators are much more able to do so than staff and graduate employees. Yet staff can only receive child care subsidies by filling out an application to prove financial need, and the relevant income limitations are not publicly available.

For grad employees, the maximum subsidy is $200 a semester, and even this may be taxable, especially for international students. Assuming a super-cheap rate of $10 an hour: this means grad employees receive one week of part-time child care each semester. Sure, you can raise a child with that.

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