Professors delivering pizza to make ends meet

By Lisa Tanh with reports from Jennifer Wilson

Canada is climbing into the top tier of educational rankings, but at the cost of drowning non-regular faculty and sessional instructors into debt.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of Fair Employment Week, a week of action to raise the profile of precarious employment in B.C.’s post-secondary institutions, organized by the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC (FPSE) and held last month[1]http://www.fpse.ca/news/presidents-comment/presidents-comment-fair-employment-week.

As part of this year’s efforts, the FPSE continued to promote Precarious Profs BC[2]http://www.precariousprofsbc.ca/, a campaign to share stories of sessional and non-regular faculty who are paid low wages, have limited access to benefits and have no job security. Full-time professors in B.C. receive around $90,000 annually while non-regulars may live on $10,000 per semester without benefits.

The anniversary is not to be considered a joyous milestone but rather a stark reminder that there is still work to be done.

According to a 2017 BBC article, research done by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showed that Canada has the world’s highest proportion of working-age adults who have been through higher education[3]http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40708421. Sessionals and non-regular faculty make up more than half of staff in B.C.’s post-secondary institutions.

In Vancouver, sessional and non-regular faculty are working odd part-time jobs such as delivering food and answering clinic calls to afford rent which they consider humiliating after years of study.

According to a 2017 Point2 Homes study, Vancouver has the most unaffordable housing market in North America – exceeding Manhattan and San Francisco[4]https://www.point2homes.com/news/canada-real-estate/housing-affordability-north-america.html.

Currently, the FSPE is asking non-regular faculty and sessionals from Canadian post-secondary institutions to fill out a survey on their teaching experiences and reflections by Dec. 15[5]https://caut.limequery.org/151696?lang=en. The data will be used for a study that will aim to help improve their employment conditions and inform public policy.

This article was originally published in The Voice.

[Photo Credit: FPSE]

References   [ + ]

1. http://www.fpse.ca/news/presidents-comment/presidents-comment-fair-employment-week
2. http://www.precariousprofsbc.ca/
3. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40708421
4. https://www.point2homes.com/news/canada-real-estate/housing-affordability-north-america.html
5. https://caut.limequery.org/151696?lang=en

One Response to Professors delivering pizza to make ends meet

  1. nonconfidencevote says:

    Soooo,
    Canada has one of the highest levels of Post Secondary Grads and (one would assume from this article) one of the highest levels of UNDEREMPLOYED post secondary Grads…….

    Proving once again “Educated” doesnt mean “Smart”

    We have had a dearth of skilled tradespeople for over a decade and it’s getting worse, much worse……so we import trades……..

    I guess the “guidance councillor”( aka…. a person with a teaching degree that couldn’t handle teaching) at High School was wrong?
    Pushing another High School Grad into the Degree Factory aka University.
    Where, 4, 6, or 8 years later you “finish” with massive student debt and no job?

    Methinks more people should be getting jobs where they get their hands dirty as opposed to the beaurocratic , soul sucking, mind numbing pointless paperwork shuffle that all white collar jobs eventually have morphed into.

    Apprenticeship in a trade.
    Earn while you learn.
    4 years later.
    No Debt and a 60, 80, 100k( or more) per year job depending on what trade you’re in.
    You wont be able to schlepp in Starbucks with all the other underemployed Barrists but hey!
    Look on the bright side.
    No Student Loan to worry about

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