In the column, Mr. Kovalik, who is also an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh'sUniversity officials deny that the situation was as described, but it has been verified by too many other independent sources to be denied with any credibility.
law school, writes that the university reduced Ms. Vojtko's course load to one class per semester last fall, decreasing her annual earnings to below $10,000. Ms. Vojtko, a cancer patient, could not afford electricity in her home, he wrote, which was "literally falling in on itself."
Last spring Ms. Vojtko learned that she was not being rehired for this fall's semester, The Duquesne Duke, a student paper, reported earlier this month.
Ms. Vojtko suffered a heart attack in August after she heard from Adult Protective Services that the agency would turn her case over to Orphans' Court if she did not meet with a caseworker.
Mr. Kovalik says Ms. Vojtko asked him to intercede with the agency on her behalf. He describes his interaction with the caseworker:
"The caseworker paused and asked with incredulity, 'She was a professor?' I said yes. The caseworker was shocked; this was not the usual type of person for whom she was called in to help."
And this perilous situation is not confined to just the academe. Far from it.
Look at what is happening here in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin.
Many jobs, from custodial work to personal care workers are paid at poverty level wages which are insufficient to support a family. In Milwaukee, the only employer that paid these worker sustainable wages was Milwaukee County. But Scott Walker privatized the last of the janitorial jobs before becoming governor and Chris Abele wants to lay off all the personal care workers as he abandons his duties to our most vulnerable citizens.
And after the people spend their lives struggling to just live from hand to mouth and check to check, the GOP is trying to cut their Social Security, benefits which they have paid into for decades and which they have earned with their blood, sweat and tears.
In a final insult, Walker and his fellow corporate lackeys have now made it so that the corporate state can swoop in and seize anything they might have had left at the time of their death, whether or nor their spouse still needs it.
Our "leaders" like Scott Walker and Chris Abele have lost the ability to see people as human beings. To them we are nothing more than expendable units that are to be profiteered off of and then discarded when no longer useful.
Sadly, until people wake up and start organizing, this will continue, but only because we are allowing it.