Ask Your Union: Contract Types

October 2014

Topics: Contract types (emergency, term, reg-in-temp, regular, continuing), how work is assigned, tenure, and recall.


What are the different types of contracts at Langara?

Your first contract will be either REGULAR (if the work is ongoing) or TERM (if the work is temporary).

For most faculty, the first contract is a TERM contract. For instructional faculty, the first Term contract includes one month of prep time, and (usually) four months of teaching. Term contracts are usually given for classes added late, or for replacement work (if someone is on leave). Your monthly pay cheque will include your vacation pay.

Sometimes the first Term contract is an EMERGENCY contract. This means that the department did not know about the vacancy until just before the semester started. An EMERGENCY contract does not include the one month of prep time, and does not allow the faculty member to earn seniority. You can only be on an EMERGENCY contract once – if you get any work after that first semester, then it will be on a Term contract and you will get your one month of prep time then. To clarify – even if work after the first contract is available at short notice on an emergency basis, your second contract will not be an emergency contract. A person hired on an emergency contract will get the seniority associated with their emergency contract work if they later get a term contract.

After two years on Term contract, if your work is still temporary, you may get a REGULAR-IN-A-TEMPORARY-VACANCY (REG-IN-TEMP) contract. This means that for each four-month teaching semester, you will also get one month of paid vacation and one month of paid non-instructional duty (NID, also often erroneously referred to as PD) time. Your monthly pay cheque will be smaller than when on a Term contract because your vacation pay will be paid in your vacation month rather than during each work-month….but you’ll get paid for 6 months. The “IN-TEMP” means that the work is temporary, either because it is not part of the department’s base budget, or because the person who usually does the work is on leave. The exact conditions for reg-in-temp are that there are two non-overlapping 12-month periods in which you worked at least ¼-time in at least 2 semesters in each of those 12-month periods, and the two 12-month periods occurred within a 5-year time interval. Ask your shop steward or department chair if you find this confusing!

When ongoing work is available, you will be appointed to a REGULAR contract (assuming you are qualified, have satisfactory evaluations, and are next in line). Some faculty are hired directly into Regular contracts because ongoing work is available (perhaps due to a retirement, for example, and there are no internal candidates).

After you have worked the equivalent of three full-time years on REGULAR or REG-IN-TEMP contracts, and successfully completed two evaluations while on regular contract, you will get a CONTINUING contract for whatever part of the work is ongoing.

How is work assigned?

Each semester, the Chair creates a schedule by assigning work to faculty based on department needs and taking into account faculty requests/preferences. Typically, the Chair first will assign courses to faculty with ongoing contracts.

If there is additional work available, the department will offer it to qualified part-time regular (including reg-in-temp) faculty in the department.

If two part-time regular faculty are considered by the selection/evaluation committee to be equally qualified, then seniority decides who gets the work.

After all part-time regulars have been assigned as much work as they can take or are qualified for then, if there is still work available, it will go to qualified term faculty in the department. Again, the best qualified people get work first; if two faculty are considered to be relatively equally qualified, then seniority is used to offer the work.

After all faculty in the department have been assigned work, the department will post any additional available work internally, so that faculty from other departments can apply.

See also: Ask Your Union: Available Work

When will I get tenure?

We don’t have tenure at the College, but a CONTINUING contract is about as close as you can come to tenure.  So 3 years at the earliest, 5 years is usual, though it could take longer if you are part time or if you are always doing replacement work. You will not get a continuing contract until there is ongoing work for you.

There was no work for me this semester. How do I get recalled in future?

It is your responsibility to stay in touch with the department. When work is available in the department, it is not posted. Instead, the Department Chair will inform all eligible faculty of the availability. (Eligible faculty are those with seniority – i.e. not retirees or emergency hires – who have worked in the department within the previous 2 years.)

The Department Chair is not obligated to chase you down, so will only be expected to send an email or make a phone call. If you do not respond promptly then it is reasonable for the Chair to conclude that you are not interested. So if you are away from the College, be sure to leave your contact information with the Chair and, more importantly, make arrangements to contact the Chair each semester to indicate your interest and availability.

When you have worked in the department and received satisfactory evaluations, then you have priority over faculty from other departments, and over external candidates, so use it to your advantage.