Non-Regular Faculty Committee Report
TRUFA AGM, April 24, 2017
The Non-Regular Faculty Representative’s role is to represent non-regular faculty on the TRUFA Executive and to connect and support faculty with sessional, continuing sessional and limited term contracts at Thompson Rivers University.
This year, Fair Employment Week occurred from October 24 – 28, 2016. During this week, bookmarks, fridge magnets and chocolates with the message “Same Work, Same Rights” were distributed to faculty mailboxes and staffrooms throughout the campus. On October 27, I held an informational panel and social with members of the TRUFA Executive along with a guest speaker from the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators who shared data about the current situation for non-regular employees across the province. Another opportunity for non-regulars to meet, get to know each other and share information was held at the end of the winter semester. Non-regulars are always appreciative of these opportunities to connect, ask questions and share information.
This year, I attended two Federation of Post Secondary Educators Non-Regular Faculty Committee (NRFC) meetings in Vancouver, one in September and the other in January. I currently serve as the chair of this provincial committee and was privileged to be invited to represent FPSE locals on the Canadian Association of University Teachers’ Contract Academic Staff Committee for a three-year term.
The September FPSE Non-Regular Faculty Committee meeting focused on issues of concern from provincial locals which include the rise of corporate culture on campuses, Collective Agreement language manipulation by administrators, inability to gather or track data on non-regular faculty on campuses, and general lack of commitment to precarious faculty. Sarika Bose, from UBC, provided an engaging workshop called “Academic Freedom: A Human Rights Issue?” which examined the challenges precarious work creates for academic freedom at all levels of the Academy.
The January meeting included a Secondary Scales Conference which demonstrated that the majority of precarious faculty want full employment and need fair treatment as unacceptable working conditions hurt students, disempower fellow faculty members and, thus, the institutions themselves. The NRFC supports work on the FPSE non-regular working conditions campaign called Precarious Profs: Fight for Fairness which examines contract faculty’s desire to play a role in the educational life of their institutions by participating fully on committees and in curriculum development, professional development, research and governance and the need for institutes to adopt a pro-rata structure and eliminate secondary pay scales.
I continue to be open to answering questions and providing support to sessional, continuing sessional and limited term faculty at TRU and am available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-Regular Faculty Representative