|Photo Credit: Sam Blackman|
One union member’s story…
I used to work full time in various financial services industry roles, mostly HR and some IT, since completing my undergraduate degree. Diagnosed with a chronic disease in the early 80’s, I was able to continue full time for many years. I worked, enjoyed life and had a family despite my illness. After several decades, my health took a predictable turn for the worse. Fatigue and other issues were telling me it was time to make a change.
After much deliberation, I quit my full time job and was hired as a part time instructor at Sheridan in what was then the faculty of business, now the Pilon School of Business. I was fortunate to get partial load contracts almost every term since, and that status ensures I am covered for medical benefits to help fund the various and very expensive medications needed to manage my illness. These benefits would not be available to me without our collective agreement. I work 3-4 classes per week with all the additional prep that necessitates.
I love my job and my students. It was my choice to cut back, and I accept the drop in income that came with my decision. I am content with partial-load status but need more stability in order to remain eligible for benefits needed to manage my illness. I’ve been very lucky to get repeat contracts but realize that could change at any time for any one of us. Let’s end the insecurity of precarious work in colleges.