Category: Salary Scale

Can You Say “Precariat”?

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.

UBC’s Bizarre Minimum Sessional Salary Scales

UBC does not have a single Sessional salary scale. It has four, and because of that the minimum Sessional salary per section differs greatly among Faculties. This has been a bone of contention between the parties for a very long time, and remains so. The Association has proposed to have a single salary scale which would apply to Sessional Lecturers in all Faculties. The effect of this proposal, if accepted, would be that the minimum salary for a three-credit course section would be the same in every Faculty.


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.

Sessionals: Appointments and Salaries

The Association has a number of proposals that relate to Sessionals but many pertain to benefits or workloads, which will be covered in different blogs. In this blog we are focussing on two other issues: right to accrue work and salary.

Minimum Scales for Sessional Faculty

In 2010, one of our bargaining proposals was for a unified minimum salary scale for all sessionals. We have this as one of our bargaining objectives this year as well. Here is the rationale we provided to the members in 2010:

Minimum Scales for Sessional Faculty

One of the basic ways to prevent teaching-intensive positions from becoming a ghetto for the academics who uphold UBC’s teaching mission is to guarantee respectable minimum salaries.