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Member Portal

We hope that many of your questions can be answered by the content throughout this website and we also know that we will never be able to fully anticipate every question that you may have.

markerIn an effort to provide you with as much information as possible we have developed some FAQs for you here. We hope they help guide you towards the answers you need to exercise your rights and responsibilities as an FSA member or to learn more about the FSA.

For any clarification about the answers provided below or for any other questions please do not hesitate to contact us!

Engagement

Contact: How do I contact the FSA?

Visit our contact page.

Contact: What happens when I contact the FSA with a question or concern?

To better manage the workloads of FSA labour relations staff and ensure that priority matters get the attention they require, the FSA introduced a new process for handling all new inquiries. Member phone calls, e-mails & walk-in visits are received by a designated staff person. If an answer to the member’s question is readily available, it will be provided. Otherwise, the matter will be assigned to the appropriate FSA Labour Relations Representative, who will make every effort to contact the member within one working day. Urgent matters are given priority attention. Please direct all new inquiries or issues to BCIT_FSA@bcit.ca or 604-432-8695.

Meetings: How do I know when FSA meetings are happening?

In addition to special meetings or events that are held on an as-needed basis, the FSA holds the following regular meetings:

  • General Meetings, including the Annual General Meeting, are held three times per year, usually in October, January & April,
  • Board Meetings are held monthly except in July,
  • Tech Rep Meetings are held monthly except in July, August & December

For specific dates of upcoming events & meetings you can visit the FSA Calendar.

Publications: Where can I find FSA newsletters, member guides and publications?

All FSA newsletters and annual reports are posted on this site. Many of our member guides are posted with our Member Education materials. But a number of them are also located within our Member Portal which requires members to create an account login to access education materials and other member-only information. If you’re an FSA member and don’t have an account we encourage you to set one up today by visiting the members login page!

Photos: What do I do if my image appears in a group photo that is used on the website and I don't want it to be used?

While we make every effort at our events and meetings to give members a chance to opt out of being photographed, we acknowledge that group photos may end up including members who do not want their images to appear in a published photo. Please notify fsa@bcit.ca and we will take down the photo.

Structure

Directors & Staff: How do I know who is on the FSA Board of Directors? And who works for the FSA?

Visit our FSA Board & Staff pages to find out more about your union representation.

Tech Reps: What is a Tech Rep, why do we need one and who is my Tech Rep?

Tech Reps are the FSA’s representative in each department. Elected annually, they provide an essential, personal link between the FSA’s Board of Directors and the Association’s membership. To find out more about Tech Reps and who serves your Department, please visit the Tech Rep page.

Program Heads: Is my Program Head or PTS Coordinator my manager?

Your Program Head or PTS Coordinator is not a manager to you or any other FSA or GEU member: he or she is your colleague. This is true for all other positions that properly fall under Article 5.2.4, and some of the other common titles for these positions include Program Coordinator, PTS Coordinator, or Team Lead. All such positions are called Departmental or Program Administrative Positions in the Collective Agreement (Article 5.2.4). You should also know that the incumbents in these positions should be (and normally are) selected by the members of the applicable Department/Program. Incumbents perform these roles for no longer than three years, but their incumbency is renewable, if the Department wishes.

This means that your Program Head or Coordinator (or other incumbent Administrative Position) should not be exercising management rights. Contact the FSA if you have concerns about whether that is happening. Alternatively, incumbents should contact the FSA if they think they are being asked by a Manager to carry out functions beyond what can be required.

Pay & Benefits

Extended Health: Where do I go to learn about my health and welfare benefits?

As a first step, you may wish to contact BCIT’s Human Resources Department or visit the benefits section of BCIT website. If you have questions or concerns that are not answered by HR, you should contact the FSA by email or call us at 604-432-8695.

Professional Development: How do I use my PD allowance?

There are two types of professional development allowances: (1) Article 10.3 “ Professional Development Expenses Fund, Program-Administered funding; and (2) an annual allotment of $2,400 for eligible full time Faculty employees.

The Art 10.3 professional development funding is an annual allotment provided to eligible employees on April 1st of each calendar year. This is more commonly referred to as the “pooled PD funds”. The general purpose of the fund is “to promote leadership in technological education through funding of relevant professional development activities and/or the purchase of equipment or services which maintain currency, flexibility, and professional competence of employees or augment the professional development of the individual employee” (Article 10.3.2). Refer to Memorandum of Agreement 09FSA40, Guide to Article 10.3 Professional Development Expenses Fund, for further information about the purpose and use of Article 10.3 funds.

The annual allotment of $2,400 in PD funding is available to Faculty employees after they have been at step 15 of the faculty salary scale for the equivalent of a least one annual workload year. This funding is paid via payroll, spread out over the year. There are no reporting requirements or restrictions on the use of these funds.

Pay: Where are salary scales posted?

Visit our Collective Agreement  page to find this information.

Vacation: If I don't use all of my vacation do I just lose the days?

All employees have the right to carry over up to ten (10) working days of vacation leave for their use in a subsequent year, pursuant to Article 9.2.7.1. However, under Article 9.2.7.4, an employee also has the right to apply for approval from their Department to carry over additional vacation leave, as long as the total vacation entitlement in any one (1) year does not exceed 58 days. See Article 9.2.7.2 for the exception to this rule.

In addition to the carry over limits described above, if an employee finds they are unable to take all of their scheduled vacation in a calendar year, and they are authorized by their manager to forego the scheduled vacation leave, they may apply to their manager for permission to carry over the additional vacation leave (Article 9.2.7.6). These excess vacation days will be paid out via a lump sum by the second pay period in February of the subsequent calendar year.

Workload: How should a Department determine workload?

The Collective Agreement (Articles 1.4.3-1.4.6) allows each Department some flexibility to develop their workloading process. There are guiding principles to ensure fair and equitable distribution of the work (see Articles 1.4.3–1.4.6 & 8.8.1) and consultation (Article 1.8.4) within the Department, but the details of the process are left to the best decision-makers, the Department members and the related Manager. Some Departments may choose to partially delegate the authority to a Departmental “workloading committee”, which may be done by specific motion at a Departmental Meeting (Article 14.4). This Committee receives requests from the Department members regarding their workload preferences and drafts a Departmental plan based on those requests to put back to the Department. The Department members must then review and approve that plan prior to its implementation. A Department-approved appeal process should be in place, to process any appeals of Departmental decisions (Articles 14.4-14.5; 8.8.3; 8.9.1).

Relevant Collective Agreement Provisions for Workload Issues

  • Article 1.8.5.1: Definition of “Department” (which means the “Employees and the related Manager”)
  • Article 8.2: Faculty Workload
  • Article 8.3: Assistant Instructor Workload
  • Article 8.4: Technical Staff Workload
  • Article 8.6: Month Free of Teaching
  • Article 8.8: Workload Assignments and Dispute Resolution (Faculty and Assistant Instructors)
  • Article 8.8.1 Non-exclusive list of factors to consider when determining workload assignments for instructional staff (Faculty and Assistant Instructors)
  • Article 8.9: Workload Assignments and Dispute Resolution (Non-Instructional Staff)
  • Articles 14.1 & 14.2: Departmental objectives and planning
  • Article 14.3: Workload disputes

Leaves: What are my leave of absence options under the Collective Agreement?

A review of the BCIT-FSA collective agreement reveals approximately 20 different types of leave provisions. The leaves are wide-ranging, and include absences for circumstances such as bereavement, participating in election to public office, maternity and parenting, professional development, and sick leave.

Some of the more common leaves that the FSA is asked about are:

(a) General Purpose Leave Without Pay (Article 9.7)

(b) Professional Development Leave (Article 10.5)

(c) Development Leave, Short-Term – Technical Staff and Assistant Instructor (Article 10.6)

(d) Professional Development Leave Without Pay (Article 10.7)

There are various eligibility criteria to be satisfied for these different leaves, as well as limits on how much leave time an employee can take.

If you have any questions that are not answered by reading the respective Collective Agreement provisions, or if you are experiencing difficulty in accessing your rights to a leave, contact the FSA.

  • What are your rights?

    The Collective Agreement, along with various memoranda of agreement, regulate the terms and conditions of employment of FSA members.
    Read your CA
  • FSA Diversity Circles

    The FSA has launched the Diversity Circles project. Want to learn more and get involved?
    Find out more!
  • FSA Newsletter

    October 2017, Vol 49 Issue 1

    Check out our latest newsletter highlighting our representation work!

    October 2017, Vol 49, Issue 1 (PDF)

    Newsletter Archive