This is a letter of solidarity written by members of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies General Assembly (FIMSGA) in support of the contract goals proposed by The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) for the new faculty collective agreement. This letter has been prompted by concerns from both students and staff regarding inadequate wages for part-time professors, teaching assistants, and sessional instructors. We wish to spark a meaningful discussion about these issues on an administrative level, in hopes of receiving support and serious consideration, while aiding the UWOFA in the upcoming contract negotiations.
The current collective agreement is set to expire on June 30th, 2014. We feel it is more important now than ever to voice concerns regarding the wages of part-time professors, teaching assistants, and sessional instructors who are so vital to the education and experience of every undergraduate student. It has been brought to our attention that the value we see in these educators is not reflected by their paychecks. Many part-time instructors receive inadequate, if not insulting, compensation and job security relative to the tremendous amount of work they do. This is a matter of concern in all faculties, it is not limited to FIMS.
As students, our education is directly impacted by the wellness of—and support for—our instructors. We want to see Western invest in the real foundation of the university. In particular, we are expressing our support for all the proposed compensation goals for part-time members.
For the purpose of this letter, we wish to stress our support of UWOFA’s efforts at the bargaining table as they pertain to the overriding principle inherent in the following demands. Namely, providing faculty with the fair pay they deserve:
- To ensure that Part-Time faculty are paid fairly and equitably relative to Full-Time faculty by tying the floor salary for a full course taught by a Part-Time Member to the average salary of a Full-Time Assistant Professor, ensuring that salaries are no lower than those paid to similarly situated faculty at our comparator universities.
- To ensure, through a comprehensive, progressive salary grid, that Part-Time instructors receive salary increments that provide due and appropriate recognition for their teaching experience and other value-enhancing accomplishments.
- To introduce compensation for extra-contractual duties and workload increased for Part-Time Members.
As students who pay tuition and constitute the core of the university, we support UWOFA’s goals of better compensation for part-time members. These instructors earn their due every lecture and tutorial, and are responsible for providing students with the “best student experience.” It is in the institution’s best interest to pay all teaching staff fair wages. We hope that our support will help increase UWOFA’s influence in upcoming negotiations.
FIMSGA (FIMS General Assembly)
If you wish to add your support, please sign our petition.