Sessionals Count


This is a graphic for the Sessionals Count campaign. It is a rectangular box with a black background. The font white and all capital letters and reads SESSIONALS COUNT

OCAD University runs on Sessional Labour.

More than 60% of all OCADU faculty are Sessional. Shockingly, we are the lowest paid faculty of any Ontario university. This is an embarrassment for Canada’s oldest and largest Art and Design University. The majority of our Sessionals (70%) have been teaching at OCAD U for more than five years – many have taught at OCAD U for over a decade – and yet we remain precarious with little job security. Sessional Faculty are calling on the OCAD U leadership to work with us to improve our working conditions.

We want Fair Pay and Job Security.


Counting on Sessionals

Sessional instructors form the largest labour category of faculty at OCAD University, outnumbering all other faculty categories (Tenure, Tenure-Track, Continuing, Teaching Stream, and CLTA). Out of 436 faculty who taught at OCAD U last year, 272 were Sessionals. 62% of faculty who teach at OCAD U are Sessionals. On average, Sessionals teach over 2.5 courses per year, which means roughly 55% of all for-credit courses are taught by Sessional instructors.

Sessionals are long-term faculty. Almost half of OCAD U Sessionals have taught here for at least ten years. Sessionals bring experience and expertise gained elsewhere as well. Over 80% of Sessionals have more than ten years of experience in their area of professional practice or research, with almost 60% having more than 15 years of experience. Finally, over 65% of OCAD U Sessionals have either a terminal Master’s degree or a Doctoral degree.*


*Source: OCADFA Spring 2020 Membership Survey

Sessionals Take Action

We have formed a Sessional Task Force. We approached OCAD U’s President. We have solutions.

Fair Pay.

There is currently a 3-tier Sessional pay scale at OCAD University. In 2021-22:

Tier 1 (Ses1) – $6,443 per course

Tier 2 (Ses2) – $7,517 per course

Tier 3 (Ses3) – $8,589 per course

In the 2021-22 academic year, 90% of OCAD U’s Sessional instructors were paid at the Ses1 pay rate. At $6,443 per course in 2021-22, our base pay rate per course was about $1,500 less than the median base rate, or 19% less than the mean average of our colleagues at other Ontario universities. This is the worst pay in Ontario.

There is also no transparent process for Sessional Pay Scale progression. The OCADFA Sessional Task Force has developed a Pay Scale Mechanism Proposal which we have shared with University Administration. We demand a transparent, fair process for Sessional Faculty to move up the pay scale.

Job Security.

There is a clear need for the University to have a Sessional Conversion program, aka a pathway out of precarity for long-serving sessionals. Prior to obtaining University status, part-time faculty were considered permanent employees after five years of continuous teaching. This meant 71% of OCAD’s faculty had permanency (including full-time and part-time faculty). Sessionals were no longer recognized as permanent employee’s once OCAD obtained university status in 2002, and the number of faculty recognized as permanent dropped to 37%.

In the last round of bargaining OCADFA won the right for Sessionals to be reappointed to a course they’ve taught 4 times in the last 5 years. But this right is not secure and long-serving Sessionals still face unpredictable workloads and can still lose their jobs at OCAD U with no notice or cause. We need meaningful job security that recognizes the long-term contributions many Sessionals make to OCAD U. Faculty and students deserve stability.



Letter of Support from tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Call for Statement from OCAD University President, Ana Serrano.

Sessional Forum

On TUESDAY OCTOBER 18, 2022, @ 1:00pm-3:00pm ET, Sessional faculty held a historic FORUM to discuss sessional working conditions at OCAD U. Sessional and Guest Speakers were in attendance followed by an OPEN FLOOR.

Oct 17-21 was Fair Employment Week!

We wanted to hear from all community members on how the University’s growing reliance on precarity impacts you!

Guest Speakers:

Jenny Ahn, Executive Director of OCUFA

Kimberly Ellis-Hale, Contract faculty Liaison, Action Chair (WLUFA – Laurier)

Mia Lamia, Executive Director of Academic Affairs, OCAD Student Union

Nick Papatheodorakos, Chair of the Contract Academic Staff Committee (CAUT)

Sessionals Count.

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