Part-timers Left Uninsured In Cases Of Job Loss

Recently, the GU has been holding negotiations with a high school over the contract non-renewal of a union member. Though the teacher is only in her second year of employment (employed on one year contracts) the union decided to raise demands for the teacher’s re-employment since her school didn’t inform her of the non-renewal until the end of January, too late for her to find more high school work for the upcoming school year.

Since there had only been one contract renewal, the GU knew that it would be difficult to win the teacher’s job back. Another option was unemployment insurance. Technically, workers must work at least 20 hours per week to qualify for enrollment in unemployment insurance. Our member was working 17 koma (17 hours of class time) and with preparation and marking time taken in consideration, was clearly working more than 20 hours per week.

When this was raised to the school as a possible way to help settle the dispute, they balked and said that they do not pay for anything except the hours taught. Therefore the teacher, even though working over 20 hours per week is not paid for the time over 17 hours, which in turn means she is not recognized as qualifying for unemployment insurance.

The only way for the union to force enrollment (other than the school voluntarily recognizing the work done and enrolling the teacher themselves) is to force the school, through the labour standards office, to recognize that unpaid work has been performed, order back payment of this work, and then ask the unemployment insurance office to enroll the teacher based on the order of the labour standards office.

Many part-time teachers in the union face this predicament - no job security coupled with a lack of unemployment insurance. This is a case that directly affects high school and university teachers in the union. Watch for updates.

 

 

 


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