The Mayday procedure word was originated in 1923, by a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. The officer, Frederick Stanley Mockford, was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed the word "Mayday" from the French "m'aider", a shortened version of "venez m'aider" (meaning "come and help me").—Wikipedia/Oxford DictionaryThere is a class of highly skilled "part-time" worker who, typically contributing the same and far more hours than their tenured colleagues for a far inferior wage and little hope of career advancement, is routinely subject to job instability and barely able to keep up with paying basic bills. That skilled worker is the sessional college instructor or adjunct professor.
Administrators seem unwilling to realize their complicity with a system that is structured to keep people in their places while a select few climb the wage ladder and burden the system with exorbitant wages for relatively little work done. Meanwhile, equally qualified sessional (part-time) faculty assume the lion's share of the teaching load for, typically, one quarter to one sixth of the wage or less of their full-time colleagues.
The exploitation and disservice university administrations show toward their adjunct faculty is one of many reasons why universities will fail completely sooner than later if such injustice is not addressed. For all the talk in academic circles about the widening gap between the rich and the poor, precious little is being done to address the issue in those same hallowed halls.
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/higher-education-college-adjunct-professor-salary/404461/If more people knew how many tenured professors teach less than fifteen hours per week, take frequent fully funded sabbaticals and balk at sitting on two or three committees which meet perhaps four or five times a year each—while making in excess of $100,000 per year—imagine the outrage! Provinces and states could save a bundle (and redirect the savings to public schools, i.e., elementary, middle and high schools) if tenure positions were converted into teaching-professor (i.e., senior instructor) positions that would still pay a substantial salary and that would likely be double to triple the wage ($15K - $25K) sessional instructors currently earn. The inability of supposedly intelligent administrators to resolve a massive disparity that demeans an entire class of worker is a stinging indictment of universities that so often claim to be supportive of social justice in the work place.
A bad situation is made worse when tenured faculty and administrators complain that sessional instructors and adjunct professors are expensive and that sessional instructor's and adjunct professor's wages are a drain on an institution's budget. Meanwhile, according to representative unions, in many Canadian university departments, adjunct professors teach between 60% and 90% of the course loads. These are the same adjuncts that routinely win the majority of the teaching awards. At one West coast Canadian university, award recognition for teaching excellence, i.e., award policy that formerly lumped all faculty members together for consideration, has been "nuanced" to separate adjuncts from tenured faculty because tenured faculty couldn't compete with the success of their part-time colleagues. Part-timers were winning the lion's share of teaching awards.
Greed, it must be said, will not allow those who benefit most from a cockeyed system to be enthusiasts for change.