SASKATOON: Sessional lecturers at the University of Saskatchewan are among the poorest paid in western Canada and it appears their employer wants to keep it that way.
“We have been seeking a significant wage lift at the bargaining table for months – one that would put us on par with sessional lecturers at the U of R,” says sessional lecturer Heather Wagg, President of CUPE Local 3287.
“But the wage increases proposed by the employer barely keep pace with the cost of living, let alone other universities. It’s very discouraging,” she says.
Wagg says there are about 250 sessional lecturers teaching at the university this semester. Although most have MAs, if not PhDs, they are paid only $8,616 – $9,276 per six- credit class. In contrast, sessional lecturers at the U of R were paid $9,502 – $10,770 for equivalent credit courses in 2004, the most recent year comparisons are available.
Members of CUPE 3287 rejected the employer’s ‘final offer’ last summer, but there has been no improved offer and bargaining has stalled, Wagg says.
“The university depends on us, but they never acknowledge us,” says Rhonda Anderson, who has worked as a sessional lecturer in the English department for many years. “The employer relies on our loyalty, but shows very little in return,” she adds.
Anderson, who has an MA in English and an MA and a PhD in philosophy, says the university could not function without sessional lecturers. “Our pay and benefits need to reflect that reality,” she says.
CUPE Local 3287, which represents 600 members at the U of S, have been without a new agreement for more than 16 months.
For more information, please contact:
English or French interviews and questions about bargaining
To discuss the life of a sessional lecturer