The last meeting between the University’s negotiating team and the Faculty Association’s team was Thursday, February 2nd. As a result of that meeting, negotiations have now stalled.
Full-time teaching for Sessional Lecturers in Education at UBC is 15 credits/term (yes, really), and they make less per credit than anyone else at UBC. If they teach fewer than 7.5 credits in a term, they are still considered less than half-time and do not qualify for most UBC benefits. We need to fix these inequities for our Sessional Lecturer colleagues at UBC, and not just in Education. Most Sessional Lecturers hold PhDs or other terminal degrees and teach a significant number of UBC’s courses; many Sessional Lecturers also do curricular work, service, and research in their disciplines on their own time, unpaid. All Sessional Lecturers deserve to be treated fairly and paid as the highly-qualified professionals they are.
Lecturers are the fastest-growing cohort of UBC faculty, highly qualified academics and professionals, performing key work central to UBC’s mission. Why, then, are they chronically over-worked and insecure? These are two of the issues facing Lecturers that we are addressing in this round of bargaining.
Lecturers are the fastest-growing cohort of faculty at UBC, but their terms of work have not kept pace with their increasing presence on our campuses. Lecturers are designed to be a teaching stream with teaching and service as their assigned responsibilities; they are full-time salaried faculty members with one- to three-year appointments and a presumptive right of reappointment as long as the work is available. But many other elements of their work-lives at UBC need attention.
In preparation for bargaining we have tracked the growth and changes in our bargaining unit over the past decade. Knowing who we are and how we’ve changed as a group of faculty, librarians, and program directors helps us determine how the university is evolving (or devolving) and which trends we might need to address. The table tracks the composition of our active membership in 2006, 2012, 2015, and 2017…
A Lecturer is defined in the Collective Agreement as a person holding an appointment without review for a term of twelve (12) months or less with responsibilities limited to teaching and related duties. Those related duties may include administrative responsibilities normally undertaken by faculty members (i.e., not work normally undertaken by administrative staff). The university has proposed adding service to the duties of Lecturers, something to which the Association is not opposed in principle, although we recognize that with additional responsibilities should come additional compensation.