All Posts Tagged With: "Professor Pay"
Students pay the price for high compensation
As Canadian universities continue to pay the most generous compensation to their professors in the world, something is going to have to give. Mix this with pensions that are sometimes worth more than the paycheque of professors in the U.S. and U.K. and it’s a recipe for budgetary disaster.
St. Francis Xavier University is the most recent university staff to go on strike, cancelling classes for more than 4,000 students. Pay and the contracting of term professors are some of the justifications offered by the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT).
According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 report, assistant professors at St. FX made a median of $74,377 in 2010-11 while full professors earned a median of $123,673. The average assistant professor’s salary nationwide was $91,035 and the average full professor’s salary was $143,366. That’s far higher than most Canadians will ever earn.
As the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance reported in a 2011 study, new funds for teaching staff there are mostly going to current professors, so it’s not as if students are benefiting.
Classes cancelled as professors picket over pay
“We want to reclaim this university,” says St. Francis Xavier Association of University Teachers president Peter McInnis. That’s the message that faculty members carried as they took to the picket lines Monday commencing an unprecedented strike at the campus in Antigonish, N.S.
After eight months of talks, the administration and union failed to reach an agreement on pay and other issues. In the last round of bargaining faculty proposed a 9.3 per cent wage increase over three years, according to the AUT. The administration offered 6.2 per cent over four years.
According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 report, assistant professors at St. FX made a median of $74,377 in 2010-11 while full professors earned a median of $123,673. The average assistant professor’s salary nationwide was $91,035 and the average full professor’s salary was $143,366.
Professors, lab instructors, librarians and writing center workers all hit the pavement at 7:30 a.m. Monday forcing the postponement of classes for the foreseeable future and causing uncertainty for the school’s more than 4,000 students.
But can we really blame inadequate funding?
In a survey completed by 2,300 Ontario faculty members this spring, 43 per cent of professors agreed that the quality of undergraduate education has declined over the past five years. Only 28 per cent disagreed. Those are worrying figures. It’s no surprise that they prompted headlines.
The survey sponsor, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (a professor unions’ group), was quick to blame a lack of government funding for the perceived drop in quality.
“Universities are straining to accommodate the new students with inadequate resources, and the cracks are beginning to show,” OCUFA president Constance Adamson said in a release.
But wait a minute. Are the resources really inadequate?
What profs at 59 Canadian universities earned in 2010-11
Every student has heard at least one professor complain that he or she is overworked. At certain times, that’s no doubt true. But the annual Statistics Canada report on full-time faculty salaries shows that along with the big workloads come big salaries. The average full-time professor earned $115,513 in 2010-11. The average full-time employee in Canada earns just $50,000.
Does that mean we should all enroll in PhDs? Not exactly. The number of PhDs is increasing rapidly, while the number of professors hired in 2010-11 was up just 0.8 per cent over the year before. The professoriate is graying: the average age is 50.
U.S. salary stats highlight value of Canadian universities
A few weeks ago, it was revealed that full-time professors in Canada are, on average, the best paid in the world. They make $86,352 at mid-career and $113,820 at the end of their careers. In the U.S., profs earn just $72,648 at mid-career and a measly $88,296 in their golden years.
The revelation that American professors make less than our own was a matter of public outrage: Let’s pay the bums less!
It was also a boost to our collective ego. A mere decade ago we wrung our national hands at how our best and brightest always seemed to move south for higher pay. Now, they stay. Phew!
Many profs and admins in top one per cent
Ontario’s annual Public Sector Salary Disclosure has been published. The so-called Sunshine List reveals the compensation paid to every public employee who made $100,000 or more last year.
Of the 79,000 employees on the 2011 list, 13,819 work for universities. That’s not surprising, considering it was revealed last week that Canada’s professors are the world’s highest paid.
What’s surprising is how many university workers have crossed the threshold between five and six figures. The $100,000-club has grown by 32 per cent in just three years.
While the majority of university employees on the list earn just over $100,000, a substantial number—1,750—made $170,000 or more, which puts them in the top one per cent of Canadian earners.
Among them, 746 reached $200,000, 97 made more than $300,000 and 15 topped $400,000.
William Moriarty, president of the University of Toronto’s Asset Management Corporation, is once again the highest paid university employee in Ontario at $655,995.
The presidents of Waterloo, Western, York and Guelph all topped $400,000.
The Sunshine List was released ahead of Ontario’s provincial budget on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in Quebec…
Just as tens of thousands of Quebec students are expected to skip class and protest a tuition increase of $1625, a new study shows that Canada’s professors are the world’s highest paid.
U.S. and Russian researchers used Purchasing Power Parity for their global salary comparison, in order to account for vastly different costs of living.
The researchers found that full-time Canadian professors make the equivalent of $68,796 (USD) at the beginning of their careers, $86,352 at mid-career and $113,820 at the end of their careers.
By comparison, professors in the United Kingdom, seventh on the list, make $20,346 less than Canadian professors at the beginning of their careers and $25,524 less than their Canadian counterparts near the end of their careers.
6.3 per cent dropped
Nearly 200 students, representing six per cent of the student body, have left Brandon University since November. Scott Lamont, the vice president of administration and finance, told CBC News that it’s safe to assume many students dropped because of the uncertainty and missed classes that resulted from the 45-day long professors’ strike. The student’s union called for a refund of tuition paid during the strike. Instead, the deadline for voluntary withdrawal from first semester courses was moved to Jan 6. and professors were told to complete classes. The professors picketed from Oct. 12 until Nov. 26 in order to extract higher wage increases. On Dec. 6, they ratified a four-year agreement that includes an 8.5 per cent wage increase, plus increases to professional development, travel and meal allowances. It was the second strike at Brandon in three years.
Occupy? Demand money back? Transfer to Winnipeg?
As the faculty strike at Brandon University enters its seventh week, students are frustrated. But that doesn’t mean they’ve been sitting on their hands.
For Nathan Layh, a fourth-year student in the School of Music, this is the second faculty strike that has interrupted his studies. He was there when faculty picketed for 17 days in 2008.
It’s an interruption he’s not taking lightly. Layh, along with a handful of other students, has been camped out on campus since mid-October as part of ‘Occupy the Courtyard,’ movement, hoping to raise awareness of the strike’s impact. Aside from leaving to go to work or similar obligations, Layh says five to 10 protestors have been living on the BU courtyard everyday, even in snow.
“It’s been a long month,” he said. “We didn’t expect it to go this long, we thought that both sides would see how detrimental this is to the university,” he added.
Minister takes “extraordinary” step
Manitoba’s labour minister has ordered striking professors to vote on the latest contract offer from Brandon University’s administrators. A strike at the small prairie school has killed classes for six weeks now. If a majority vote “yes,” professors will go back to work almost immediately.
“I have reviewed the circumstances of the dispute and the negative effect of the work stoppage on the students of Brandon University and the city of Brandon,” Labour Minister Jennifer Howard wrote in a letter to university president Deborah Poff and BUFA president Joe Dolecki yesterday. “I am of the opinion that a vote of the employees in (BUFA) to accept or reject the last offer of the employer, respecting all matters remaining in dispute between the parties, is in the public interest.”
The vote is expected later this week. The parties were close to a deal last week. The university offered raises of nine per cent raise over four years, plus an $1,800 back-to-work bonus. BUFA wants 10 per cent over four years, plus $3,000 for each member who goes back to work.
The reason Brandon professors have gone on strike for the second time in three years is that they feel they’re underpaid. Associate professors average $89,000, which is less than the $106,000 nationwide. Still, salaries are very similar to those paid at similar small schools like Nipissing University in North Bay, Ont.
In my opinion, they’re paid well enough already.
More than 1,000 students at Brandon University have signed a petition asking for their tuition money back because of a faculty strike that caused classes to be cancelled since Oct. 12.
But the Brandon University Student’s Union (BUSU), which has collected the signatures, doesn’t blame the professors—who are striking for the second time in three years—for their three weeks of missed classes. BUSU supports the picketing profs. They agree they’re underpaid.
But are Brandon’s professors really underpaid? More importantly—are professors underpaid in general? It’s a question students and taxpayers should ask—they’re the ones who pay the bills.
Students can’t be punished for not crossing picket lines
There has been a lot of misinformation about the current strike by Brandon University’s Faculty Association (BUFA). Here’s what we do know.
Reports earlier this week suggested that students will be punished if they choose to skip the classes of any professor who chooses to go back to work before the strike ends. President Deborah Poff wrote Tuesday that no student was ever at risk of being punished. “Students have a right not to cross a picket line,” she wrote. “It is an act of political and moral conscience, and Brandon University will not discriminate against students for their political beliefs.”
It was also reported that talks had broken off on Wednesday, as the conciliator had returned to Winnipeg. But BUFA writes today that although the two sides will not meet again until Monday, that’s because the conciliator is unavailable until then, not because talks had broken off. BUFA also confirmed that they have rejected the schools’ offers for arbitration or mediation and arbitration.
Professor salaries didn’t grow much last year
Statistics Canada has released their annual professor salary report. Across 29 universities, average salaries for full-time teaching staff grew 2.5 per cent, from $113,148 in 2010 to $116,024 in 2011. Prices also rose 2.7 per cent for the 12 months ending in July, so it’s not much of a gain.
But women did make gains. The report shows a 1.3 per cent rise in the share of women teachers, compared to a 0.3 per cent rise the year before. Still, men account for 62.4 per cent of staff.
Here is the median pay for associate professors.*