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Editor’s Letter

Eileen Clark, Clarks Clerks: Welcome to this first-ever special issue of Nexus, devoted to one of the most significant issues affecting universities and TASA members today. The exponential growth in short-term, part-time and casualised forms of employment has been a feature of neoliberal, post-industrial economies. Otherwise known as contingent or precarious labour, this form of work […]

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TASA statement on contingent labour

Kristin Natalier, Flinders University:       During 2016, I had the privilege of collaborating with a group of TASA members* to develop a Working Document setting out practical responses to the increasingly widespread, destructive and exploitative use of contingent labour in academia. The process had its roots in my concern that as sociologists, many of us […]

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The never-ending search for work

Christian Mauri: TASA’s Working Document on contingent labour clearly identifies issues and proposes strategies for academics who employ staff and as such it is welcomed by those who face the never-ending search for work every semester. The anxiety over whether I’d get work in 2017 settled in a month before Christmas. I’ve been living without […]

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The hidden problem of insecurity among research academics

Tom Barnes, Australian Catholic University: There is now a lot of research on the excessive casualisation of teaching in Australian universities and its related problems like employment insecurity or the mistreatment of casual teaching staff, including TASA’s recent report. But little has been documented on the problem of contingent employment among research-focused academics. This raises […]

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Unsettled lives? The personal relations of precarious academics

Lara McKenzie, University of Western Australia: It is common to hear about academics’ personal lives in terms of a lack. We know, for instance, that academics have fewer children and work longer hours than those in other ‘professions’ (Mason et al. 2013; NTEU 2015). Other matters are summarised in the recent TASA Working Document on contingent […]

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