A new survey by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has found that most academic staff working on contract at Canadian universities aren’t employed that way by choice.
According to the survey:
- Over half of respondents want a tenure-track university or full-time, permanent college job.
- Women and racialized contract academic staff 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 per cent think the institutions where they work are model employers and supporters of good jobs.
- The number of university teachers working part-time, part-year expanded by 79 per cent from 2005 to 2015. In contrast, regular professors increased by only 14 per cent and in the same period, the number of students grew by 28 per cent.
The study shows that many contract academic staff are underpaid, overworked, and under-resourced, and often feel trapped in a ‘gig lifestyle’ of part-time or insecure work.