Fair Employment Week (October 18 to 22) is an opportunity to reflect on the essential role played by sessional instructors in the life of the University and, in our case, the Faculty Association.
This term, there are 550 sessional instructors representing about 23 per cent of academic staff at the University of Calgary and they are responsible for delivering 835 half-course equivalents (HCE). The University of Calgary could not achieve its enrollment goals or deliver its programs without the contributions of our hardworking sessional instructors.
The Faculty Association continues to work on several inequities regarding sessionals that have been exposed during the pandemic, including sick-time entitlement, continuation of PER, and communications from the Administration. You might recall from previous Academic Views that the Faculty Association filed two grievances with the Administration in the early weeks of the pandemic in 2020 regarding sessional members and the sudden unilateral change to the nature of the sessional contracts. These grievances are still unresolved and have been escalated to arbitration.
In these challenging and uncertain times, it is important to recognize the already precarious nature of the work carried out by sessional instructors and provide support to them. On behalf of all members of the Faculty Association, I want to acknowledge the critical work performed by sessionals, the reliance of the University of Calgary on their work, and the financial challenges faced by the highly educated and skilled professionals who work in this area.
David Stewart, President