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Story from Rhiannon Don

Name: 
Rhiannon Don
Number of years as contract academic staff: 
12 years (literally a third of my life!)
Favourite part of your job: 
Helping to demystify the university and academic culture. As much as I'm obstensibly teaching writing and research skills, I'm also teaching students how to figure out what their professors actually want, how to read assignments, and how to ask for help.
Being precariously employed has affected pretty much every area of my life. It was a big factor to consider when my husband and I decided we wanted to have children, and it is a big part of why we decided only to have one. Taking time off for maternity and parental leave was a luxury I was lucky to have because my contract is continuing; lots of other contract academic staff run the risk of not being offered future contracts if they take the time off. Now that my daughter is older, my anxiety centers around whether I will get work for the summer term. Going without pay for a term was unfortunate but manageable when it was just the two of us, but now that we are three, it's a lot more stressful. If I don't get work, I can't afford to keep her in daycare, which creates financial stress for our daycare provider, and it makes it challenging to afford the kinds of trips and extras you want to be able to give your kid in the summer. Being precariously employed has affected pretty much every area of my life. It was a big factor to consider when my husband and I decided we wanted to have children, and it is a big part of why we decided only to have one. Taking time off for maternity and parental leave was a luxury I was lucky to have because my contract is continuing; lots of other contract academic staff run the risk of not being offered future contracts if they take the time off. Now that my daughter is older, my anxiety centers around whether I will get work for the summer term. Going without pay for a term was unfortunate but manageable when it was just the two of us, but now that we are three, it's a lot more stressful. If I don't get work, I can't afford to keep her in daycare, which creates financial stress for our daycare provider, and it makes it challenging to afford the kinds of trips and extras you want to be able to give your kid in the summer.