VICTORIA – CUPE 4163 Component 3 is shining a light on the University of Victoria’s poor treatment of sessional lecturers — and the impacts on both students and educators — with a public campaign on Victoria’s buses beginning this week.
Lack of job security and low wages have put these educators in a precarious situation. Sessional lecturers and music instructors who teach 30 per cent of students at UVic are low-paid, get very little notice about what courses they’ll be teaching, and need to reapply for their position every single term.
“For term instructors, it can be pretty tough,” said CUPE 4163 President Greg Melnechuk. “And the impact on students definitely limits their educational experience at UVic.”
Some educators have seen class sizes almost double which means that written assignments become eclipsed by quizzes and exams for student assessment. Teaching moments are lost, and student experience is compromised.
“Most people don’t realize that many of the favourite instructors at UVic are actually working under exploitative conditions,” said Melnechuk.
“The irony is that, while sessional instructors are demoralized by the willful neglect shown them by the University, they remain intensely dedicated to the students and the teaching.”
CUPE 4163 Component 3 took a strike vote after five months of exhaustive bargaining sessions but have not served 72-hour notice to take job action. They have no further bargaining dates and expect to go into mediation sometime in September. More information can be found online at 4163.cupe.ca