Working Poor

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Doctors Can Help Cure Poverty Without Leaving The Office

The push for doctors to treat social issues like poverty is starting to change the way we practice medicine and how we work with community agencies and those with expertise in income benefits, food security and poverty law. Many health organizations now are right in the middle of advocacy for better social conditions. Major medical organizations, including the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian College of Family Physicians have been vocal in their support for this approach. This demonstrates a real acceptance by the medical mainstream that reducing patients' poverty is a core part of a doctor's job.
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Why I Can't Quit Teaching University Physics and 'Get a Proper Job'

The beef I have with the University is that people like me are working de facto full time. If we were really full time, we would be paid a lot more, have much better benefits and even a pension. I have colleagues who have been teaching for 13 years, and the University is still trying to call them "temporary appointments". This is blatant hypocrisy, we are working full time, but the University maintains a pretence that it is a "one off, special contingency" every year. Nonsense!
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I Teach University Physics, But I'm on Government Assistance

Today, I had a perfectly reasonable request from a student who wanted to review an exam from last term. I was unable to comply with this request because to do so would be to give my employer more of my time for free. As a dedicated teacher, I am extremely sad about this, because I would like to give my students the very best learning experience that I possibly can. So what makes a mild-mannered Physics instructor turn into a seething rebel? The blunt answer is that I, along with many of my colleagues in Higher Education in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia are being shamelessly exploited by our employers. My total earning for the year are $34,000. If the University wants a "Full Service" teacher, then they need to pay us as a highly qualified professional person would expect to be paid.
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This Industry Is a Labour Trap

Time and again, those of us barely scraping by on precarious appointments in the service industry are fed the same exhausted occupational rhetoric: "Prosperity in the 'new economy' requires flexibility and sacrifice on the part of the labour force." Translation -- welcome to the precarious labour trap.
Working Poor is a close-up look at the struggles of those who do not make a living wage, and an examination of how to bring prosperity to all Canadians.