Contract faculty pay practices unfair

Fair Employment Week brings attention to the issue of underpaid contract work on campuses

Contract faculty pay practices unfair

Thank you to the mayor and council of Duncan for proclaiming this week Fair Employment Week and supporting fairness for contract faculty. Our Federation participates in Fair Employment Week to bring attention to the issue of underpaid contract work on campuses and to call for change. Not only do contract faculty face precarious employment due to their short-term contracts; they are also paid less for the work they do — some are paid 80 per cent less than their colleagues.

This situation doesn’t just impact contract faculty; it affects us all. Students have less access to contract faculty. Local communities lose out on economic activity from workers who can’t make ends meet. And, a barrier to recruiting and retaining women and racialized educators remains in place at a time when it is only becoming more important for the faculty and staff at our post-secondary institutions to represent our students and our communities.

The good news is that together, we can fix this problem and make the situation fair for contract faculty. Two colleges (Vancouver Community College and Langara College) already follow a fair pay model — now it is up to other post-secondary institutions to follow suit. Moving towards a fairer payment model will address the problems that unfair pay creates; students will have improved access to educators, local economies will benefit from workers’ increased income, and a barrier to recruiting and retaining women and racialized educators will be removed.

On behalf of our 10,000 members in B.C., a third of whom are contract faculty, thank you for your leadership and support for paying people doing the same work the same pay. Together, I know we can make it fair for all educators working in B.C.

Terri Van Steinburg, president

Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

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