A Partial-Load Veteran in the GTA…

…reminds us of the degree to which current hiring practices in Colleges and Universities are dissuading the brightest and most motivated people in society from pursuing professorship as a career.

I am an 11 year veteran of the partial-load trenches and I would gladly give up any increase in pay over the next 3 years just to get the same work-load conditions of my full time colleagues and vacation pay. I also teach part time at a university, and there are semesters when I work more hours than my full time colleagues, have to travel to 2 locations to do it, with no fixed office to work from. Yet I still have to work during the “vacation” months in order to pad my salary and get me through the rest of the year.

I have considered seriously that I should just give up this teaching “habit.” But like all junkies, I happen to enjoy it! My supervisor, colleagues and students are all great. I just can’t quite afford to do this job.

The part-time position I hold at the university was previously a full time one that has now been split in 2 for the obvious cost-cutting reasons. I have definitely scaled back on the amount of time I put into certain aspects of my teaching, simply for my health and sanity’s sake.

It is time for the province and colleges to stop subsidizing education on the backs of part-time and partial-load employees. So as much as I love my students and would not want to compromise their year in any way, I have voted in favour of this strike, and would vote against the colleges’ “final offer” if it comes to that.

I suppose that part of the question is whether a society that truly believed in the value of education would not value the individuals who provide it enough to ensure their ability to continue in their role as educators.

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