Sessional Instructor/Lecturer Information

Sessional Instructors

Sessional Instructors and Sessional Lecturers hold teaching only positions.  A Sessional Instructor is a member of the Bargaining Unit who is a clinical instructor in Nursing, or a special instructor in Music, or a professor who is scheduled to teach one or more credit courses during the academic year. A Sessional Lecturer  is a member of the Bargaining Unit who is considered a permanent position apppointed to either a nine (9) month appointment or a twelve (12) month appointment in accordance with 55:01 (b).

Information contained on this page includes:

Sessional Instructor Job Postings

Click here to view a current list of job ads from various departments on campus for Sessional/Overload courses.

Sessional Lecturer Positions

Click here to read a list of FAQs concerning Sessional Lecturer positions or refer to Article 55 of the Collective Agreement.

Sessional Instructor Salaries

In the 2023-2024 Academic year, the following stipends shall be paid to Sessional Instructors, (which include vacation pay):

July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024

Sessional course rate for FULL SEMESTER courses

$9,096 per course

Sessional rate for PARTIAL courses

$208 per hour

Sessional rates for CLINICAL courses

$124 per hour

Sessional rates for SPECIAL INSTRUCTORS (Music)

$89 per hour

Consolidation Courses in the Faculty of Nursing:

The University shall continue to pay a stipend to each sessional member who teaches a Faculty of Nursing consolidation course.  The stipend shall be on the basis of one-half (1/2) of the rate for lecture hours for a four (4) week consolidation course and one-quarter (1/4) of the rate for lecture hours for a two (2) week consolidation course.

Any additional hours scheduled for laboratories or other non-lecture settings shall be paid one-half (1/2) of the hourly rate for partial courses as stated in clause R.2 above and in the Letter of Appointment.

Article R outlines salary information for Sessional Instructors who teach full semester courses, partial courses, clinical courses, special instructor (Music) courses, and consolidation courses in the Faculty of Nursing. Click here for details under Article R.

Sessional Seniority and Preferred Applicant Status (PAS)

As of July 1, 2004 Sessional instructors who have taught the same or similar course 6 times or more are required to apply for ‘preferred applicant status’ (PAS). Applications are submitted to the Head of the relevant AAU.  The AAU’s Renewal, Promotion and Tenure Committee (RPT) will review the applicant’s performance in the course according to the criteria in clause 54:06 (a), and they will also consider any statement from the AAU Head concerning documented and investigated student complaints, any unusual patterns of withdrawal from the instructor’s classes, and any other points which the AAU Head deems relevant. The RPT Committee will then declare their recommendation or denial of ‘preferred applicant status’, and the applicant will be notified.

Sessional Instructors retain their PAS as long as they are not employed in a full-time capacity outside the bargaining unit. A member with PAS should be assigned to teach the course over all other applicants.  If more than one PAS applicant has applied for a course, the course shall be assigned to the applicant who has taught the greatest number of times as a Sessional instructor at the University (“seniority”).

Click here for a list of FAQs regarding Preferred Applicant Status (PAS).

Sessional Course Cancellation Policy

Under Article 54:12 of the Collective Agreement, the following rules apply to Sessional course cancellations: (a) The University shall not cancel an appointment made to a Sessional Instructor in order to have the duties performed by a faculty member with a full-time appointment; (b) If a member accepts an appointment and that course is subsequently cancelled and no equivalent position is found for him/her, he/she shall be compensated according to the following table:

                Time of cancellation before Percentage of stipend as outlined

                first scheduled first scheduled class in the Letter of Appointment

                Greater than 3 months                                                                  0%

                1 month to 3 months                                                                   15%

                Less than 1 month                                                                      20%

                After start of course                                                                     25%

Sessional Courses versus Overload Courses

If a Sessional Course is posted, a full-time Faculty member, Librarian, AAS or Sessional Lecturer is entitled to apply to teach the course. When the 6-course rule (PAS) does not apply and qualifications of applicants are judged to be relatively equal, the full-time member takes preference over Sessional Instructor applicants. The full-time member is entitled to be paid the overload stipend for teaching more than the normal teaching load.  If two or more full-time members apply for the course, the course should be given to the most qualified full-time candidate.

Timeline for Hiring a Sessional Instructor

Normally a Letter of Appointment signed by the President or his/her delegate shall be sent by mail as soon as possible and no later than July 1 for the subsequent fall term, November 1 for the subsequent winter term, and March 15 for the subsequent intersession and summer terms. Each letter shall specify the course number(s), length, terms and conditions of appointment, including number of instructional hours, scheduled lab hours per course, the stipend per assigned scheduled hour for teaching labs and salary (including Employment Standards Act vacation entitlement) and sessional seniority as defined in Article 1.  A copy of the current Collective Agreement shall be sent with the letter of initial appointment.

What if I receive my appointment letter late?

As part of the policy grievance settlement, Sessional Instructors who are provided with late appointment letters can request that the University not utilize their Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) scores that are obtained for that course in future appointment deliberations.  If you are Sessional Instructor who was provided with a late appointment letter and would prefer that those SET scores not be considered for future appointments please notify your Department Head/Director and Dean (and copy WUFA at, by sending them a written letter or email message like the following:

“As per the agreed upon policy between the WUFA and Administration, I am writing to request that my SET scores obtained for (course(s)) __________, taught during (semester,year)  ____________, not be considered by the Appointments Committee for future appointments, as I was provided with a late Sessional contract for that course.”

Note: Make sure you keep a copy of your appointment letter so that, if challenged, you can prove that the Sessional Appointment letter was received late.

Sessional Health Care for those members who meet eligibility requirements

Sessional Instructors who are not employed in a full-time capacity outside the bargaining unit, who have no coverage through an alternate health insurance plan and who have taught at least four (4) courses in the previous teaching year (May 1 - April 30) shall be provided the benefits as detailed in Article F.  The paperwork from HR to self-identify eligibility is mailed to each qualifying Sessional member every year at the end of May and must be returned by the deadline.  Coverage will begin the following July 1, provided the Sessional Instructor is still teaching at the University. 

Sessional Instructors and Employment Insurance (EI)

Sessional Instructors who have worked at the University in the past academic year are entitled to use those hours towards Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. It has been our understanding that a one-credit course (12 weeks, 39 classroom hours) will be recorded as 185 EI insurable hours. If a contract states lab hours as a separate stipend an additional 114 hours will be recorded as EI insurable hours. As of May 2009, a person needs 420 hours to qualify for EI benefits.  To request a Record of Employment (ROE), please contact the University's Payroll Office,  For further information regarding your contract, please contact Human Resources, 

Sessional Course Assignments and the Grievance Process - How the Grievance Committee will investigate Sessional Course enquiries

If you have a concern relating to a Sessional Course Assignment, you can call the Faculty Association office, Jennifer Hewer (Resource Officer) at or at ext. #3362 for assistance. You will likely be asked for the following information:

  • Which courses did you apply to teach, in which semester?
  • Which courses were you assigned, in which semester?
  • If available, supply a copy of your previous course assignments, semesters, seniority ranking (the list of same or similar courses you have taught over the years), SOST/SET (student evaluation) scores & your Appointment Letters.
  • Provide WUFA with the version of your CV which was available to the appointments committee when considering your application
  • Supply a copy of your Statement of Interest in employment which was sent to your department annually before the March 1 deadline (see Article 54:08(a)).

To initiate the fact-finding process, WUFA will contact the Provost’s office to ask for information under Article 54:10 to establish the seniority and qualifications for yourself and for the candidate who was selected to teach the course(s).  A response is expected within 7 working days.  Please note that your name (“the grievor”) will be disclosed at this step.  In order for WUFA to obtain the Article 54:10 information, we will need to identify the person who is contesting their non-appointment to the course.

Once received, the Article 54:10 information will be provided to the Grievance Committee for their review.  Any minutes or discussion at the Committee level are confidential. The Committee will review the material to determine if a violation has taken place under the Collective Agreement. The Grievance Committee may invite the grievor to the WUFA office to view the Article 54:10 materials and provide a write-up of their observations to the Grievance Committee.  The Grievance Committee will consider the grievor’s notes when deciding how/if to proceed to the next step of the grievance process.

For information regarding the Steps of the grievance process, please refer to Article 39.

Interested in joining WUFA’s Sessional Committee?

For information regarding the Sessional Committee and how to join, please visit the Sessional Committee page.

Information Technology and Professional Development Assistance Account

On May 1 of each year of the 2021-2025 Collective Agreement, the University will contribute sufficient funds to establish and maintain twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) into an Information Technology and Professional Development Assistance Account for the benefit of sessional instructors who are not employed in a full-time capacity outside the bargaining unit, and who have taught at least four (4) courses or have taught less than four courses woth a total of four (4.00) sessional seniority credits or greater in the previous teaching year. Upon application, qualified sessional instructors will be provided with up to five hundred dollars ($500) from this account to compensate for the use of personal information technology used to facilitate instruction in the previous teaching year or for professional development activities.  Should more than fifty (50) sessional instructors qualify for this compensation each will share proportionately from the account.

Applications are due each year on January 15. CLICK HERE to view the application form
Form can also be found on the University's website under Internal Grants and Funding Programs CLICK HERE to view the page

For more information, please read the Sessional Instructor/Lecturer Handbook 2021 - 2025