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Carleton University rejects proposal for added instructor compensation during pandemic

"I teach more than 100 students, most of whom are new to the online environment. They are feeling isolated and anxious and have a lot of needs," says contract instructor Gareth Park. "The time I'm spending is totally unpaid. I'm basically working an extra day for free."
2018-03-03 Carelton University1 MV
Carleton University, March 3 2018. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters.com

Contract instructors at Carleton University will not be getting any additional compensation this year, even though many report that their jobs have gotten much harder due to the demands of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CUPE Local 4600 had put forth a proposal, following a survey of its members which found that almost 80 per cent of contract instructors reported working significantly more hours this semester, but that proposal has been rejected by the school.

"I have been working flat-out since August," says Gareth Park, a contract instructor. "Everything needs to be online and responding to student concerns has become a full-time job. And I am teaching just one course."

CUPE says contract instructors are some of the lowest-paid employees at Carleton, as they're hired to teach individual courses. They receive a flat rate of $7,453 per course, and teach many of the school's courses with the largest enrolments. 

"I teach more than 100 students, most of whom are new to the online environment. They are feeling isolated and anxious and have a lot of needs," explains Park. "The time I'm spending is totally unpaid. I'm basically working an extra day for free."

The union estimates that there are around 800 contract instructors teaching at Carleton this year.

CUPE 4600 represents contract instructors and teaching assistants employed at Carleton University.

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