Sector 9-Universities

OCAD University support staff stand in solidarity with sessional faculty

As OCAD University support staff from OPSEU/SEFPO Local 576 enter bargaining with their employer this week, they are also standing in solidarity with sessional faculty members represented by the Ontario College of Art and Design Faculty Association (OCADFA) as they demand fair pay and job security.

“OCAD management needs to remember at the bargaining table that bad working conditions for staff mean bad learning conditions for students,” said Julian Higuerey Nunez, Local 576 President. “Support staff at OCAD work side-by-side with sessional faculty members, and we support their fight for fair wages and job security completely.”

“It’s great to see this kind of solidarity between support staff and faculty at OCAD University,” said College Faculty member and OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick. “This is a big week for OPSEU/SEFPO Local 576 – they’ll be at the bargaining table with OCAD. It’s good for the employer to see our two unions standing together and demanding more for all of our members.”

Hornick also shared this message of solidarity with OPSEU/SEFPO Local 576 and OCADFA President Min Sook Lee: “These are familiar issues for us in the CAAT-A world, and our struggle continues to get decent salaries and terms and conditions for precarious faculty. We need to work together as a labour movement to get decent work in place for all precarious workers.”

OPSEU/SEFPO encourages all members to sign the OCADFA petition here.

Sessional instructors are precarious workers, employed on contract term-by-term, with low pay and very little job security. At OCAD University, more than 60% of faculty are sessionals, and they teach more than half (55%) of all for-credit courses offered there. Almost half of OCAD sessionals have taught at the university for at least ten years, and more than 80% have more than 10 years of experience in their field.

Sessional faculty demands:

  • Fair pay: More than 90% of sessional faculty are at the lowest tier of their three-tier pay scale, and are the lowest paid university faculty in Ontario. They are demanding a transparent, fair process for sessional faculty to move up the pay scale.
  • Job security: Sessionals can lose their jobs with no notice or cause, and their workloads are unpredictable. They are demanding meaningful job security that recognizes the long-term contributions many sessionals make to OCAD University.

Solidarity to-do list:

  1. Follow OPSEU/SEFPO Local 576 on Facebook and Twitter as they enter bargaining this week.
  2. Sign the OCADFA petition demanding fair pay and job security for sessional faculty.
  3. Ask your friends on social media to sign the petition.
  4. Follow OCADFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.