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Kimberley Ellis Hale has been an instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., for 16 years. This summer, while teaching an introductory course in sociology, she presented her students with a role-playing game to help them understand how precarious economic security is for millions of Canadian workers.

In her scenario, students were told they had lost their jobs, their marriage had broken up, and they needed to find someplace to live. And they had to figure out a way to live on just $1,000 a month.

What those students didn’t know was the life they were being asked to imagine was not very different than the life of their instructor.

According to figures provided by the Laurier Faculty Association, 52 per cent of Laurier students were taught by CAS in 2012, up from 38 per cent in 2008. (Brian St-Denis (CBC News))

Hale is 51 years old, and a single mother with two kids. She is what her university calls a CAS (contract academic staff). Other schools use titles such as sessional lecturers and adjunct faculty.

That means that despite her 16 years of service, she has no job security. She still needs to apply to teach her courses every semester. She gets none of the perks that a full time professor gets; generous benefits and pension, sabbaticals, money for travel and research, and job security in the form of tenure that most workers can only dream about.

And then there’s the money...

Most university undergrads now taught by poorly paid part-timers - Canada - CBC News

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