More Canadians are working in precarious conditions, employed in contract, temporary, and/or part-time jobs with low wages.

The increase has been concentrated in accommodation and food services, education, information, culture and recreation services—and particularly among young workers aged 15 to 24 and older workers aged 65+.

The CCPA recently reported that among the university and college workforce, as many as half are employed in precarious conditions. A disproportionate share of those are the 68,000 CUPE workers employed in this sector. Permanent jobs make up a declining share of the overall jobs in the post-secondary workforce. They’re being replaced by people working in temporary, involuntary part-time and multiple jobs.

Those in precarious jobs also tend to be paid considerably less than those in permanent, full-time jobs, and have much less in terms of benefits, job security and regular hours. Working age men aged 25-54 in part-time jobs are paid average wages of about $22 an hour, only 71 per cent of what those with full-time jobs receive. Men and women in temporary jobs are paid less than those with permanent jobs, and significantly less if they aren’t unionized.

Workers in jobs that are precarious in multiple ways (such as work that is temporary and part-time) tend to be paid even less. Women and racialized workers are much more likely to be employed in these types of precarious jobs.

CUPE is committed to taking on precarious work, including in the post-secondary sector. Check out our 2017 report, Quality jobs, quality education: Better futures.