‘October 2012’

Fair Employment an ongoing concern

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Fair Employment an ongoing concern | Filed in October 2012, President's Message

– By Paul Rogers, Faculty Association President –

In March 2012 the Association took a snapshot of its membership which revealed that 23.1% of academic staff at the U of C at that time held term certain (also known as sessional) positions.  Across Canada this type of position is more typically referred to as contract academic staff, and it is a class that is growing both nationally and internationally.  This growth is of significant concern to the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), which is why CAUT annually plays a coordinating role in Fair Employment Week (FEW).

FEW (this year’s incarnation runs from October 22nd to 26th) is a national event that raises awareness of the difficulties inherent in being a member of the contract academic staff.  Contract academic staff are often on the front lines of attacks on academic freedom, quality, fair treatment, and the value of research.  Universities continue to lean on contract academic staff as a cheap, flexible workforce.  At the U of C sessional instructors are typically hired to teach individual courses; they are not expected to do research and they are not offered long- or even medium-term commitments beyond the individual courses.  These academics often work for low pay, and with the uncertainty of whether or not another short-term contract will be extended to them.

The Association is concerned that we are increasingly creating a have and have-not campus where some members of the academic staff receive much of the resources and security, while others are treated poorly.  It is important to emphasize the incredible dedication of these individuals to their jobs since sessionals are highly-qualified individuals who care deeply for the University and their students.

In recognition of the work sessional members do and the contribution they make to the institution, the Association is launching a new one-time program of Sessional Travel Grants in conjunction with FEW.  The purpose of these grants is to provide these members with an opportunity to profile their research (work some continue to do even though they may not be compensated for it) or attend conferences to remain current in their fields.  Three grants are available to be awarded (eligibility criteria and deadlines for application are available here).

Not much has changed over the past year regarding the statistics on the faculty and gender of sessionals. You will find that sessional academics still compose nearly one-quarter of all academics at the University, an amount almost equal to the number of Associate Professors, and are employed in every corner of the University. In addition, over half of sessionals are female which is in contrast to statistics for ongoing academics.

The Association has always recognized that the concerns of contract academic staff should be the concerns of us all.  Please let your colleagues and administrators know that the unfair treatment of sessionals at the U of C needs to be resolved.

>> Sessional Academics by the numbers

<< Sessional Travel Grants available

Sessional Academics by the numbers

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Sessional Academics by the numbers | Filed in October 2012

Academic Staff by Faculty (Chart)

Academic Staff by Rank (Chart)

Gender of Academic Staff (Chart)

>> Sessional Travel Grants available

<< Fair Employment an ongoing concern

Sessional Travel Grants available

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Sessional Travel Grants available | Filed in October 2012

This year in recognition of the contributions of sessionals to the academic environment the Association is awarding Sessional Travel Grants. Three grants of up to $1,800 are available.

These grants serve to support the academic goals of sessional members of the Faculty Association of the University of Calgary by providing funding for a portion of travel costs related to making scholarly presentations and/or attending conferences. The purpose of this grant is to provide these members an opportunity to profile their research, remain current in their fields, and thereby benefit the University with their enhanced expertise and profile.

Sessional applicants must have completed at least three (3) half-course equivalents at the University of Calgary between September 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012. Applicants must also be contracted at the University of Calgary for the Fall 2012 and/or Winter 2013 semesters. Travel must be completed by August 31, 2013.

Grant recipients will be selected by the Faculty Association based on the quality of their application and the relevance of the conference to the research/field of study. Sessionals making scholarly presentations will normally be given first consideration.

Click here for a Travel Grant application form.

 

 

 

 

 

>> Fair Employment an ongoing concern

<< Sessional Academics by the numbers