More than 1,200 part-time professors and teaching assistants at Halifax’s three universities are fed up with poverty-line wages that are the lowest of any campus in the country.
The members of Local 3912 are gearing up like never before to stop being treated like “fast food workers”, says president Barbara Moore. “Our jobs have many of the aspects of flipping hamburgers, but we’re flipping students and in larger classroom sizes all the time.”
By the new year, part-time teachers will be in strike position at the universities of Dalhousie, Mount St. Vincent and St. Mary’s. Part-time teaching staff earn $5,000 per course. As they are allowed a maximum two courses at any one university, they have to work at least two campuses just to eke out a living. Since three courses is a full load, part-timers end up with a $15,000 salary.