Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
gerry@redheelermedia.com
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About the Film

Hear from experts and follow the stories of 5 of these "gig professors" as they struggle for fairness and quality in higher education.

Precarious contract faculty are paid a fraction of what similarly-qualified permanent faculty get for teaching the same courses.

This full-length, in-progress documentary takes you inside the lives and stories of precarious contract faculty.

Most precarious contract faculty work for poverty level wages and have no benefits, pensions, voice in curriculum, academic freedom nor job security.

They're exploited by a system that puts students and most of those who teach them at the bottom of a crushing hierarchy.

Meet the Precarious Professors

Jen

struggles on contract faculty pay for 8 years as she teaches, raises her two children, co-writes a widely used textbook, strains to complete her PhD in Earth Sciences, and wonders what kind of employment and life lie ahead.

Sandra

is a lively contract professor in massage therapy who, after 22 years teaching, is fighting a pay cut to all in her classification amounting to nearly a quarter of their wages.

Pam

is a professional dancer and choreographer, who wonders after 30 years of teaching how she’ll get by in her senior years with a tiny pension. She's a leading activist, fighting for contract faculty equality and was a strike leader in the huge, history-making Ontario College Strike of 2017.

Marco

is a contract English professor, scholar and musician. He leads a group of precarious contract faculty who are struggling to make their faculty association understand their crucial needs and the urgency of the issues.

Meet the Production Team

Gerry Potter

Director-Producer

Gerry has written twelve professionally-produced stage plays, eight professionally-produced films and has directed 48 professional theatre productions and eight films. He taught drama, screenwriting and film studies for 27 years on precarious contracts at three different Alberta universities. He has won two Canada Council Arts Awards, the Mayor's Award for Artistic Innovation, the MZD Progressive Artist Award, the Edmonton Artist Trust Fund Award, and is in Edmonton’s Cultural Hall of Fame.

Ray Harper

Editor

Ray Harper has worked in film and television since 1975 on over four hundred documentaries and series for organizations such as Access Television and Canada's National Film Board. He has earned numerous national and international awards including the Japan Prize, and a New York Film Festival Award.

Jan Randall

Composer

A lifetime musician, known as a composer, keyboardist and sound designer, Jan has composed original soundtracks for over 30 documentaries and has created award-winning music and sound for film, television, radio and theatre.

Jerry Krepakevich

Sound Design and Mix

Producer of more than 130 films for the National Film Board of Canada, Jerry won a Gemini Award for Best Nature Documentary and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Youth Special. Jerry has worked on more than 200 productions as a sound recordist, editor, designer and/or mixer.

Get Involved

Learn how you can help and learn more

Screenings and Spread the Word

This 80-minute documentary about precarious contract professors in Canada and their struggle for fairness and quality in higher education will be ready for screenings in the fall and winter 2020/2021 terms.
If you, your faculty association, student association or union local would like to ask about or arrange a screening, please contact gerry@redheelermedia.com. And please spread the word!

For Researchers

You can also help the cause by researching the issues. Talk to precarious contract faculty at your local college or university. Or pick up Keith Hoeller’s excellent book Equality for Contingent Faculty: Overcoming the Two-Tier System.

For the situation in the United States, visit the New Faculty Majority web site which features many resources on contract staff issues.

For Students

If you’re a student, you can ask your teachers about this issue, which affects you in ways you may not even know.

For Teachers

If you teach, tutor, lab assist or research in higher education, talk to your colleagues and your faculty association or union local, if you have one. If you don’t have a union or a truly democratic faculty association, get your precarious contract colleagues to share their experiences with one another, and build from there. Together we are strong. To that end, I recommend Joe Berry’s foundational organizing book Reclaiming the Ivory Tower.

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