Prep for problems
Universities are not the only educational institutions in Nova Scotia exploiting academic staff (“Precarious labour is exploiting educators,” BTS guide by Julia-Simone Rutgers). Beginning this September, the newly named NSCC Ivany campus is enforcing a policy of not paying prep time to its “precarious academic staff”–the casual and auxiliary faculty working for hourly wages. What message does this send to these teachers? That NSCC does not value the time you spend preparing lessons and evaluations for its students?
How will this impact the students’ education? Teachers will need to compromise on the quality of education they can provide. This policy is not only off-brand from the NSCC’s heralded Strive campaign—strive for what, lower education standards?—it counters its own mission, vision and values.
If enforced province-wide, the “no paid prep time” policy could potentially fracture the very foundation the Ivany Report claims to need to succeed. We are already seeing the impact of this decision in the music business program, where this year almost all the casual faculty chose not to return. For the new hires and academic staff paid hourly wages, they will be attempting the biggest juggling act of what may be the beginning or end of their teaching career. —Krista Keough, casual faculty at NSCC Ivany Campus