Contract faculty meet in Kingston and London to highlight impacts of precarious work at Ontario universities

KINGSTON/LONDON (Oct 10, 2019) – Contract faculty members from across Ontario are meeting at Queen’s University in Kingston and Western University in London to strategize about how to push back against cuts to Ontario universities.

“This is an important week to raise awareness about the challenges faced by contract faculty across Canada and to recognize the important contributions they make at our universities,” said Kimberly Ellis-Hale, Chair of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association’s Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement Committee. “Too many contract faculty have to reapply for their jobs every term, are hired to teach courses for which they are paid less than their full‐time tenure‐stream colleagues, and lack access to benefits.”

Ontario has the lowest per-student university funding in Canada, and the gap continues to grow. As public postsecondary funding erodes, and the Ford government moves to introduce a reckless new performance funding model, universities have refused to invest in better working conditions for contract faculty.

It is estimated that up to 40 per cent of teaching faculty at the province’s universities are employed on short or limited term contacts, often without access to benefits, pensions, or even offices. As the Ford government continues to make announcements that destabilize funding for postsecondary education in Ontario, the future for already precariously employed contract faculty is of increasing concern.

The week of October 7-11 is Fair Employment Week, a national week of awareness that recognizes the important contributions of postsecondary contract faculty members and aims to educate students and other members of the community about the need for good jobs on campus.

Many participants in the meeting will also be hosting events on their own campuses to raise awareness about the need for university administrations to provide contract faculty with fair working conditions and opportunities for research to improve the education for students at Ontario universities.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit www.ocufa.on.ca.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca