If you are asked to go into sessional it means you have more than 12 hours of teaching contact hours in a week. Technically, it is a temporary full-time position. According to our Collective Agreement, you cannot be sessional for more than 12 consecutive months or else you automatically roll into a permanent full-time position.

The implications of going sessional are a bit complicated so hopefully either HR or your manager has also walked you through some of the impacts. You should also ask to speak to the Total Rewards Associate to help you understand the impact to pay/benefits. Going sessional can help out the college in emergency situations so it can look good on the employee to step up, but you’ll want to make sure you are okay with the following things:

  • In terms of workload, a sessional employee is treated like a non-permanent full-time teaching position so the workload is assigned on a Standard Workload Form (SWF) just like it is for full-timers. Full-time workload is laid out in Article 11 of the Collective Agreement.
  • There will be an impact on the hourly rate of pay. Typically the pay rate drops but you’ll be working more hours. Take home pay might be slightly above what you’ve been bringing home as partial load but you’ll want to confirm that with HR.
  • Your partial load benefit coverage ends at the end of the month in which you accept the sessional assignment. Your Total Rewards Associate can give you more specific details about the coverage end date.
  • You’ll also want to ask about when you’ll be reinstatement for benefits and/or if there may be benefit bridging available. With bridging, you can “bridge” your benefits if you have a partial load contract in place after the sessional appointment ends.
  • Time spent in the sessional assignment will not count towards your partial load service credits which are used to calculate your pay step increases and seniority on the partial load registry.
  • Sessional faculty do not get sick time, nor are they eligible for holiday pay if a statutory holiday falls on their regularly scheduled day.
  • If Partial load employees take a sessional assignment for greater than four (4) continuous months, they will not be given first consideration for full-time faculty postings.

HR will typically send out a letter explaining all of this stuff, and please reach out to the Total Rewards Associate to confirm any questions you have.