Ontario professors take action for Fair Employment Week

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Toronto – Across Ontario, university professors are taking action to educate campus community members about the growing numbers of contract faculty at Ontario universities. A national campaign organized by the Canadian Association of University Teachers, Fair Employment Week builds awareness and promotes fairness for contract faculty.

“Most students are unaware if their professor is on a short-term contract,” said OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips. “Despite being committed to their students and teaching, contract faculty still have to re-apply for their jobs every four months. It is simply unfair.”

In Ontario, the number of courses taught by contract faculty has doubled since 2000. These professors teaching on short-term contracts lack job security, benefits, and fair pay. OCUFA is advocating for fairness for contract faculty because universities should be model employers, providing good jobs in their communities.

With Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act working its way towards law, the provincial government has acknowledged that too many Ontarians do not have decent jobs. OCUFA supports Bill 148, but it is imperative the legislation is strengthened to address equal pay for work of equal value and to prevent the abuse of short-term contracts.

“Hiring faculty on discontinuous four-month contracts – even after decades of employment – are not labour practices to be proud of,” said Frankie Cachon, Chair of OCUFA’s Contract Faculty Committee. “They’re not good for faculty, not good for students, and do not advance the mission statements of our universities.”

Ontario’s faculty are committed to addressing the widespread growth of precarious employment in the province because they know secure and stable employment is essential for providing high-quality education.