Two tiers: part-time and full-time. The former have short-term non-guaranteed contracts. The latter have benefits and legal protections. Sound familiar? It's already how American higher education works.
Lately I've been thinking about how the influence of corporate management structures in the for-profit education sector will change the entire American higher education system. Right now, the FP sector is compensating their burn-and-slash CEOs like the robber barons in other sectors of the economy, such as FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate -- think Goldman Sachs, AIG, and JP Morgan Chase Manhattan Group). How long will it take for the major land-grant, regionally-accredited college presidents ("CEOs") to demand pay in the same league as the FP, with the FP sector growing rapidly and taking the non-profit sector's market share? Where once there were star professors, there will be star administrators demanding ridiculous compensation packages and golden parachutes. What will the effects be on the everyday worker? What will be the effect on the Academy as such? I can't think of any benefits, except to "shareholder value."
Esther is a casualty of Spain's dual labour market -- the stark divide between permanent and temporary employees. Two-thirds of Spanish workers are classed as permanent. It's very expensive to fire them. They can get up to four years' pay. So employers hang on to them, even in the deepest downturn. New jobseekers don't get a look in. And the one-third on temporary contracts are highly vulnerable.
With employment levels unlikely to return to 2007 levels until between 2015 and 2020, I think it's accurate to say, much like the experience of Spanish youth, we are living in "employment" and "adjunct hell." Adjunct Hell -- sounds like a dissertation title.