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Sessionals, teaching, research and graduate assistants will be celebrating Fair Employment Week on campuses across the country October 25 to 29.

The event is meant to raise awareness of the challenges non-tenured academic workers face, which include achieving liveable wages and basic benefits, having sufficient appropriate workspace, and fighting privatization of education services.

Recording Secretary for CUPE local 3909 at the University of Manitoba Ana Vialard says that while students and professors typically appreciate the work of non-faculty academics, it often goes unacknowledged by university administrators.

“We are terminally labeled part-time or contract workers, even when we work full time hours,” said Vialard. “This label affects everything: office space, resources, tools, benefits and, of course, wages.”

To coincide with Fair Employment Week, CUPE is launching a new online survey aimed at gathering information on the working conditions of contract, contingent faculty workers.

The survey will be extremely valuable in filling a serious gap in our understanding of the working conditions for this sector,” explained CUPE national research representative Margot Young. “We’ve long heard that these workers are under tremendous pressure in their workplaces. We’re hoping to document it.”

CUPE is encouraging all members who are part of this employment category to take 10-15 minutes to fill out the survey.

  • Take the survey: Working Conditions of Contract Faculty Workers in Canadian Universities