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    Preserving your Vacation Entitlements

    Preserving your Vacation Entitlements

    Update: This blog post was edited for further clarity on July 23, 2018.

    The summer break period is approaching, and many of you will be heading off for your hard-earned annual vacation. Vacation is an earned and paid entitlement for all regular FSA positions in all classifications (e.g. Specialized Faculty, Technical Staff).

    We recently learned that BCIT is proposing to make involuntary vacation leave bank payouts to members whose vacation banks have an “excess balance.”  Excess vacation leave is anything in excess of 58 days in a calendar year.

    The collective agreement provides for an annual carryover entitlement of 10 days per year. When accumulating carryover days from multiple years, the total of the carryover and current vacation days cannot exceed 58. The vacation carryover provision is at Article 9.2.7 in the Collective Agreement.

    Also check out our FAQ page to read: “Vacation: If I don’t use all of my vacation do I just lose the days?”

    We recognize there are individual reasons why our members may have a carryover bank that’s larger than their entitlement. Excess carryover often happens when you are asked to conduct work for BCIT at a time when you might otherwise be taking vacation. We are asking BCIT for the same consideration for members when this occurs.

    The FSA encourages all eligible members to exercise their right to take their annual vacation leave. We also say it’s a shared responsibility, between employees and management, to create adequate time for vacation leave to be scheduled and taken.  If you are approached by your manager regarding an imposed vacation bank payout, and you are not in agreement with said payout, feel free to contact us.

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  • Posted by Sarah Desrosiers on June 1, 2018, 12:56 pm

    I was just curious about the pay out. I did not know that was an option or that it was available. I assumed if you did not use all of your vacation you lost it.

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  • Posted by maureen connelly on June 1, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Our teaching program has been developed such that we cannot take more than 20 consecutive days in the summer. All other V days have to be taken in short (1 – typically 4 day time frames) throughout the remaining 11 months.

    Does the collective agreement address this? And/or does the FSA have a position on this

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  • Posted by JudeM on June 1, 2018, 4:20 pm

    Hi Sarah, thanks for the question. Vacation is an earned entitlement and one that we bargain hard to obtain! You deserve your time off. Employers want to reduce any “unfunded liability” – that is, any roll over/ not take vacation time represents a financial liability to them. So, they want to get this paid time reduced and off the books any way they are able to. That said, under the collective agreement you are able to carry over a maximum of ten (10) unused vacation days. See the collective agreement Article 9.2.7 in its entirety. There are great FAQs on the website on this topic too.
    Have a great weekend!

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  • Posted by JudeM on June 1, 2018, 4:27 pm

    Hi Maureen,
    Great question. Some collective agreements stipulate minimum lengths. The BCIT/FSA agreement does not specify this way. However, if you look at Article 9.2.3 (pg 45) you will see that it does state that “An employee has the right to select a vacation period, and may take it in a continuous period or in segments at the option of the Employee…” It does go on to limit it with “…subject to the schedule established by the department…”
    The Dept/BCIT has to be reasonable however. Only allowing employees to take a few days at a time in our opinion is not reasonable. Our advice is to make the request and if it is not granted to contact our office for further investigation.
    Bottom line: Any employer needs to have sufficient staffing to allow employees to take their annual vacation. [Dribs and drabs doesn’t cut it]

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  • Posted by JudeM on June 1, 2018, 4:32 pm

    HI I need to add to my post – apologies. An employee can carry over 10 (ten) vacation days annually at one time, to a maximum of 58 (fifty-eight) days. If you are a longer service employee, you may also carry an additional 4 (four) days, per Article
    Some people have accumulated more than this as they have been asked to work more weeks in a given timeframe, preventing them to take their annual leave. Which is what created this issue.
    Feel free to contact us directly if you need more information.

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  • Posted by selmakw on July 5, 2018, 9:41 am

    I would trade vacation time for better wages. 27 Vacation days is more than most people get and in Vancouver with the high cost of living, higher wages may help us with recruiting. Vacation time is not helpful if you don’t have money to live. Higher wages in my mind is better than vacation payout.

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  • Posted by selmakw on July 5, 2018, 9:42 am

    To clarify my post above, 27 days refers to what I would be happy with vs 43 and up if I were to have a higher wage.

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  • Posted by Paul Reniers on July 12, 2018, 4:16 pm

    Thanks for the comments, Selma. This fall the Collective Agreement Committee will be seeking this kind of input. Wages are clearly a bargaining priority already. Whether we are prepared to trade off other rights for more wages is a key question for members. The reality may again be that the provincial government is going to keep our wages tied to their mandate and to the provincial college faculty wage grid. If they do, that would make it impossible for BCIT to negotiate such trade offs for wages even if our members are willing.

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  • Posted by Giselle Collins on July 15, 2018, 7:14 am

    Hi JudeM,
    RE: “If you are a longer service employee, you may also carry an additional 4 (four) days, per Article”

    It is not clear to me in that the extra 4 days of vacation for reaching 20 years of service can be carried ON TOP of the already permitted 10 days.

    Reply →
  • Posted by Jude Morrison on July 23, 2018, 4:41 pm

    Hi Giselle,

    Thank you for the question! It is an excellent (and astute) one.

    We are investigating further into how the long-service vacation days have been treated in relation to carryover. With the supplemental days longer-service members receive, there is a proportional lift argument that can be made. Otherwise, the additional days actually diminish the carryover right. That argument is subject to our FSA members taking the matter forward and making the case in circumstances where you have been unable to reasonably take your allotted vacation time away from work. We are examining how that has been handled in the past. As the employer’s current efforts demonstrate, larger carryover banks have been tolerated even if they are not a right. Our first position is always: Use your vacation time to enjoy your hard-earned benefit! However, if due to operational requirements or other circumstances beyond your control, you are unable to take your vacation entitlement; the Employer has been reasonable in allowing carryover. In no circumstance should you forfeit your earned vacation – at very least the Employer must pay out unused vacation or carry it over, subject to the collective agreement and past practices.

    As always, if you need clarification, intervention or any other assistance, please contact us at:




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