College is not supporting contract faculty organizing drive

Volume 27, Issue 5
May 2017

Bob Bolf, President, OPSEU Local 562


As you may be aware, the college has sent out a memo to all part-time and sessional faculty informing them that the college does not support OPSEU’s organizing drive for better working conditions for these faculty. Faculty receiving this memo are asked to talk to their manager should they have any questions.

Let me tell you the reason why the college does not want better working conditions for part-time and sessional faculty.


Humber College made a surplus of $29.6 million last year. “Surplus” is what a government institution uses to denote that it has made more money than it spent. “Profit” is the term used by businesses. The role of Humber College is to provide access to post-secondary education. It has been granted a charter by the provincial government to do this and receives funding from the province to do so.

Humber has a history of making a surplus every year. In fact as of 2015, Humber had accumulated over $300 million in current assets (think “cash” and “short term investments”) from its annual surpluses. Since then, it has spent about half that amount on new buildings at the North and Lakeshore campuses.

How does this surplus come about?

The faculty union has requested and received from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, a report called the Aggregate CFIS Account Balances. This report is a detailed description of the costs and revenues for each of the colleges in the province. This is publicly available information.

The college is also obligated to send the Ministry a Staffing Report once a year, showing how many faculty are employed by the college during one week in October. This is seen as a representative indication of faculty employment by the Ministry.

Combining information from these two reports yields some interesting observations:

Faculty   Position Number of Faculty* $ Payroll** (000) $ Benefits** (000) Total Payroll & Benefits (000)  % of Total Faculty % of Payroll & Benefits
Full-time 589 $52,613 $5,949 $58,562 24% 54%
Partial-load 693 $25,975 $4,177 $30,152 28% 38%
Part-time 989 $13,207 $711 $13,918 40% 6%
Sessional 213 $3,881 $207 $4,088 9% 2%
Total 2484 $95,676 $11,044 $106,720 100% 100%

*Source: Staffing Report  2015
**Source: Aggregate CFIS Account Balances 2015-2016


What strikes you about the number of part-time and sessional faculty and their pay? Maybe this will help.


For your faculty union, it is the fact that part-time and sessional faculty comprise almost half of all faculty (49 per cent) but account for only 17 per cent of payroll costs; this shows the inequity with how this group of faculty are treated. They do the same teaching work as full-time and partial-load faculty, have the same qualifications, yet they have no job security, minimal benefits and are paid significantly less than unionized faculty. With this volume of contract teaching, clearly more full-time faculty should be hired. However, this would mean higher costs for the college.

If I were a part-time or sessional faculty, I would talk to the faculty union about signing an organizing card.


The Icing on the cake

Position How Many $ Payroll**
$ Benefits**
Total Payroll
& Benefits (000)
All Faculty 2484* $95,676 $11,045 $106,721
Full-time Administration 342*** $33,032 $3,094 $36,126

*Source: Staffing Report 2015
**Source: Aggregate CFIS Account Balances 2015-2016
***Source: “Administrative Staff By Gender”; College Employer Council;


What do you think of this distribution?

Administration jobs account for 12 per cent of all faculty and administration jobs, yet administration jobs account for 25 per cent of faculty and administrative payroll and benefits.