Fair Employment Week: Helping build solidarity for 15 years
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) led the way in creating Fair Employment Week over 15 years ago. Today we continue to see an explosion of new positions at our universities with varying degrees of job insecurity. Administrations have taken advantage of a longstanding practice of bringing professionals with careers outside the university into the classroom to teach occasional classes. The employment of contract faculty has now become an entrenched strategy, used by university administrators to keep costs down.
Faculty associations are taking up the challenge of fighting for fairness for contract faculty, including wages, job security, and benefits. This year, OCUFA’s Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement Committee is our largest ever and interest in supporting our work continues to grow. Outreach activities during Fair Employment Week took place on a record number of campuses in Ontario and the response for students, staff, and faculty was overwhelmingly positive.
Last winter, contract faculty in universities partnered with contract faculty in colleges for a day of action on Twitter. This year we will once again focus on building solidarity and raising awareness about the need for fairness for contract faculty. In an effort to advance public discussion of precarious work in the academy we are supporting a winter action (stay tuned for details!) to complement our efforts during Fair Employment Week in the fall.