In response to this post.
It’s tax time. Want to know how much an Australian sessional academic earns?
I earned $31K in the 2016-17 financial year. To put that in perspective, a level B lecturer (which is my level of experience), earns $85-90K.
So this needs a bit of context. Here it is:
I worked full-time. But my paid contracts (2 hour-based contracts, 1 part time one) added up to about a 0.5 full-time load of teaching.
About 0.4 full time was allocated to research – but this is unpaid, and so I forgo earning other types of income, or teaching more in order to continue being research active.
Negotiating contracts and assorted other volunteer work (eg. peer review work) made up the rest.
My half time teaching load netted me about one third of an average salary at my level.
In many ways the year was very successful: I submitted 2 substantial research articles for peer review, and one was published, the other is under review; I wrote 3 different research papers and presented 2 of them, and gained competitive acceptance for the third; I finished a book review; my students nominated me for a teaching award; and I developed an entire new semester of 3rd year lectures, I applied for a postdoc, and numerous jobs, and contributed to the research community at my main affiliated university.
The point about pay is about fair recognition for work done.