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Most academic staff working on contract at Canadian universities and colleges aren’t employed that way by choice indicates new survey results gathered and released today by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).
According to the survey:
- Over half (53%) of respondents want a tenure-track university or full-time, permanent college job. This is the case even for contract academic staff (CAS) who have been teaching for 16-20 years.
- Only 25% said they do not want a tenure-track or permanent, full-time academic appointment. The remainder are unsure.
- Women and racialized CAS work more hours per course, per week than their colleagues and are more likely to be in low-income households.
- Two-thirds of respondents said their mental health has been negatively impacted by the contingent nature of their employment, and just 19% think the institutions where they work are model employers and supporters of good jobs.
“Until now, we had no clear picture of the working conditions of CAS across the country,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson. “These results reveal that many CAS are underpaid, overworked and sorely under-resourced. It’s a dismal picture for the majority of these academics, who often feel trapped in a ‘gig lifestyle’ of part-time or insecure work.”
CAS are a swiftly growing segment in the Canadian academic workforce, with the number of university teachers working part-time, part-year expanding by 79% from 2005 to 2015. In contrast, regular professors increased by only 14% and in the same period, the number of students grew by 28%.
“Administrators are increasingly — and wrongly — replacing what should be full-time permanent jobs with a patchwork of lower-paid, short-term contracts,” said Robinson. “The growing reliance by administrators on CAS is unfair to CAS and to their students.”
More than 2,600 CAS responded to the online survey, which was open to those teaching at least one course during the 2016-17 academic year in any Canadian post-secondary institution.
Dr. Greg N. Gregoriou
July 22, 1956 – November 20, 2018
Greg N. Gregoriou passed away peacefully at his home in Plattsburgh, New York on the evening of November 20, 2018, following a courageous and hard-fought three-year battle with cancer. Greg was born in Montreal, Quebec on July 22, 1956 to Nicholas and Evangelia (Papoutsakis) Gregoriou. He is survived by his mother and many close friends and colleagues.
Greg was a kind, generous, dear friend and gentleman who helped others whenever he could. He was also an accomplished scholar with a contagious passion for education and research. A graduate of the PhD program at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Greg published 52 books and over 100 journal articles, and mentored hundreds of students during his 15-year tenure as a Professor of Finance at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. He served as an editor of several journals and contributed to the success of several academic researchers in this capacity. He also taught at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, University of Vermont and the McGill School of Continuing Studies.
Greg’s mother and friends thank the staff at the University of Vermont Medical Center for their compassionate and attentive care.
Visitation will be Sunday, November 25 from 4:00-9:00 pm at the Blythe Bernier Funeral Home, 940 Ogilvy, Montreal H3N 1P4. Funeral services will take place at Evangelismos tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church, 777 St-Roch (corner Outremont) on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Interment to follow at Mount Royal Cemetery.
Discussions are continuing, but there has been no progress from the Employer’s side. The Employer is having problems identifying and demonstrating their real needs with respect to courses not posted, in article 15.03 (these are courses reserved for McGill community members who are not on the priority points list).
The Employer stated initially that PhD students are the priority for the reserve pool; however, it is now apparent that a new outsiders’ category created by the Employer and called “course practitioners”, who would have almost the same course allocation percentage as PhD students, is their primary concern.
MCLIU respectfully reminds the Employer’s representatives that this is an institution of higher learning and not a vocational training school. The way of thinking of the Employer’s negotiation team needs to be addressed by upper management and the academic stakeholders of McGill University.
Notwithstanding this, the Union is open to solutions that take into account the well-being of MCLIU’s membership without decreasing the number of courses available to them.
Bargaining will continue twice a week through November and then for one session on December 5 before the holiday break.