“Contract academic staff are under attack,” reads the opening banner to the Canadian Association of University Teachers’ (CAUT) website posting for Fair Employment Week, October 21-25. ACCUTE agrees. We are working now on statistics, but some recent postings have indicated that about one-half of the teaching undergraduate students receive is from contract academic staff – that is, people with professional training, research experience, existing research engagements, and a passion for teaching, but who are nevertheless hired on a per-course, limited-term basis, often without benefits, and at a pay-scale that puts them on or below the poverty line in Canada. The situation, CAUT reports, is getting worse.
CAUT “opposes the increasing casualization of academic work and advocates the equal treatment of all academic staff, regardless of their employment status.” Under the leadership of our Sessional Caucus Representative Dorothy Hadfield (Waterloo), and in association with our strong Sessional Caucus representatives, ACCUTE, too, seeks a climate change in the management of contract academic staff in Canadian postsecondary institutions. Most CAS academic staff in English Studies remain represented on Departmental websites as though they were now lacking in field-specialization and current research engagements. Our caucus members report a lack of access to office space, decision-making… sometimes even Departmental letterhead.
ACCUTE supports CAUT in this important initiative. Although Fair Employment Week has passed, the struggle continues. Visit their advocacy website here:
Categories: English Matters