There is a crisis in working conditions for precariously employed history professors in Canadian universities. It is a crisis decades in the making; it has taken a profound personal and collective toll on generations of historians. As real as this situation is to the workers themselves, it is largely invisible at both department and association levels where precarious workers are often held responsible for their own working conditions. At the same time, departments, perhaps unconsciously, benefit from a historically unprecedented multi-decade internship system. This needs to stop.”
– Precarious Historical Instructors’ Manifesto, February 2020
How can full-time faculty promote fairness and equity for precarious instructors, in History and beyond? What are full-time faculty responsibilities to precariously-employed colleagues? What are some promising practices that your department can consider implementing? The CHA Precarity Committee is addressing these questions and has organised a series of webinars; produced a report; assembled a list of promising practices for departments; and prepared a draft conversation guide to help departments discuss these vital issues.
Over the past year, the CHA Precariousness Committee has created a number of resources to assist departments interested in improving conditions for precarious faculty. One of these is a conversation guide to help departments, which asks the following question: How can full-time faculty promote justice and equity for precarious faculty, in history and beyond? What are the responsibilities of full-time faculty to their precariously employed colleagues? What promising practices can your department consider implementing?
The committee asks you to plan such a conversation in your department. We offer to provide a CHA-appointed chair or facilitator to departments that wish to hold this conversation. The conversation is designed for small groups of faculty, and has been tested within the CHA. We hope you will also be interested in trying it out in your department. If you would like to ask someone from the CHA to assist or facilitate the conversation, please contact us!
The CHA Precarity Committee