Ask Your Union: Contract Types

July 2022

Topics: Contract types (emergency, temporary/term, reg-in-temp, regular, continuing), and tenure.


There are four types of faculty contracts at Langara: two cover temporary work, and two cover permanent, ongoing work.

Temporary work

1. TEMPORARY contracts:
For many new faculty, the first contract is a TEMPORARY contract, often referred to as a TERM contract. For instructional faculty, the first Temporary contract includes one month of prep time, and (usually) four months of teaching. Temporary  contracts are given for classes added late, for replacement work (if someone is on leave), or for work that the College does not deem to be ongoing. Your monthly pay cheque will include your vacation pay.

Sometimes the first Temporary contract is an EMERGENCY contract. This means that the department did not know about the vacancy until just before the semester or the work period started. An EMERGENCY contract does not include the one month of prep time, and does not allow the faculty member to earn seniority. You can only be on an EMERGENCY contract once – if you get any work after that first semester, then it will be on a Temporary contract and you will get your one month of prep time then. To clarify – even if work after the first contract is available at short notice on an emergency basis, your second contract will not be an emergency contract. A person hired on an emergency contract will get the seniority associated with their emergency contract work if they later get a temporary contract.

2. REG-IN-TEMP contracts:
After two years on Temporary contract, if your work is still deemed to be temporary, you may get a REGULAR-IN-A-TEMPORARY-VACANCY (REG-IN-TEMP) contract. This means that for each four-month teaching semester, you will also get one month of paid vacation and one month of paid non-instructional duty (NID, also often erroneously referred to as PD) time. Your monthly pay cheque will be smaller than when on a Temporary contract because your vacation pay will be paid in your vacation month rather than during each work-month… but you’ll get paid for 6 or 12 months, depending on whether you are assigned instructional work for one or two semesters. The “IN-TEMP” means that the work is temporary, either because it is not part of the department’s base budget, or because the person who usually does the work is on leave.

The exact conditions for converting from a temporary contract to a reg-in-temp contract are that there are two non-overlapping 12-month periods in which you worked at least ¼-time in at least 2 semesters in each of those 12-month periods, and the two 12-month periods occurred within a 5-year time interval. Ask your shop steward or department chair if you find this confusing! Reg-in-temp contracts may be given to non-instructional faculty on first hire, since that generally suits the administrative and operational needs of the department.

Note that both reg-in-temp and regular faculty are referred to as "regularized".

Permanent, ongoing work

3. REGULAR contracts:
When ongoing work is available, you will be appointed to a REGULAR contract, also known as a Regular 3-year contract. Some faculty are hired directly into Regular contracts because ongoing work is available (perhaps due to a retirement of the creation of a new permanent position, for example, and there are no internal candidates); in this case your first appointment would be to a Regular 3 year contract.

If ongoing work is available and you are an internal temporary/reg-in-temp faculty, you will be appointed to a REGULAR contract (assuming you are qualified, have satisfactory evaluations, and are next in line); the contract length may be less than 3 years if, for example, you have already served for 2 FTE years as a reg-in-temp.

4. CONTINUING contracts:
After you have worked the equivalent of three full-time years on a REGULAR contract, and successfully completed two evaluations while on regular contract, you will get a CONTINUING contract.

If you are on a REG-IN-TEMP contract and the work becomes ongoing, you will convert either to a REGULAR or to a CONTINUING contract; you will become CONTINUING when you have worked the equivalent of 3 FTE years as a regular/reg-in temp, and successfully completed two evaluations while on regular/reg-in-temp contract.

When will I get tenure?

We don’t have tenure at the College, but a CONTINUING contract is about as close as you can come to tenure.  So 3 years at the earliest, though it could take longer if you are part time or if you are always doing replacement work. You will not get a continuing contract until there is ongoing work for you.