We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to the UNB Board of Governors because an injustice is being committed in your name. As you know, UNB management is in negotiations with UNB’s poorest paid employees: the part-time instructors who teach 20 per cent of undergraduate courses. You may not know that teaching one course – which may have 100+ students – pays just over $5,000.
Many part- time instructors rely on teaching at UNB but it is hard to stretch even four or five stipends into a living wage. And they have no health or dental benefits or pension, though some have taught for 25 years. In contrast, part-time instructors at St Thomas University, UNB’s nearest neighbour, enjoy all these benefits and higher pay. Part-time instructors at UNB are asking for gradual wage parity with instructors at St Thomas. What they have been offered, in your name, is nothing.
It’s difficult to understand that in an annual budget of over $200 million there is nothing for the lowest paid among us. In 2012 the Board increased the president’s already substantial salary by 8.51 per cent, yet UNB’s management offers zero to those instructors without whose teaching UNB would have to close its doors. For $160,000 – the amount that was recently spent on the president’s porch – UNB’s poorest paid teachers could achieve wage parity with St. Thomas. It would be a modest step, but long overdue.
The above is an open letter to the UNB Board of Governors from the Association of UNB Teachers (AUNBT).