Each year, the BC government holds public consultations that inform the next year’s budget through the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. This year, the consultation happened in June – and for three weeks, the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators and our locals spoke out about paying contract faculty fairly.
From Courtenay to Kelowna to Surrey, the committee heard about the impact underpaying contract faculty is having on workers, students and our communities.
While the exact payment for contract faculty fluctuates across the province, the overall issue is the same: contract faculty are paid less than their colleagues for doing the same work – sometimes 80% less.
I spoke to the committee in Surrey to give a provincial overview of this issue and give our recommendation for Budget 2020. Here are the key points from our presentation:
- In BC, we have a provincial salary scale used across our system that ensures educators are paid fairly, without discrimination. Contract faculty are not paid on this scale.
- 1/3 of FPSE members are contract faculty – that’s 3000 educators in BC.
- Contract faculty need to be paid on a pro rata basis – simply put, proportionate to the provincial salary scale.
- Vancouver Community College and Langara College show that treating faculty fairly is possible. There, all faculty are paid on the provincial salary scale, regardless of the duration of their employment contract. This should be the standard for all institutions.
Our recommendation for Budget 2020 is that government fund a pro rata pay model so that contract faculty are paid on the provincial salary scale.
Our colleges, universities, and institutes are important pieces of our public infrastructure and they need the dedication and skill of faculty and staff. We need to make sure that the treatment of educators matches the excellent education that post-secondary workers provide. Ensuring that public funds go towards paying people fairly is the kind of investment that makes life better for every person in our province.
You can help – join the Fight for Fairness today! #makeitfair
Terri Van Steinburg
President Elect, FPSE
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 19 public and 5 private sector institutions.