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FAQ for Members in PTS

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.

These FAQs do not constitute legal advice. For any clarification about the answers provided below or for any other questions please do not hesitate to contact us!

 

Your Rights

 

Do I have specific protections in the Collective Agreement?

Yes! The Collective Agreement establishes your employment rights such as: the rates of pay, benefit eligibility, a grievance process, and (for PTS instructors) the right to normally be rehired. Like all FSA members, PTS/Auxiliary Employees have rights and responsibilities in their respective roles. How these are applied in your specific context can be challenging to outline in specific detail, but PTS/Auxiliary Employees can always obtain more information by contacting the FSA directly.

Intellectual Property & PTS Courses

Article 5.2.5.2.8 gives the first right to teach a course to the individual who authored the course if they were not being paid to do so by BCIT. Article 7.4 ensures that an employee who ‘creates, develops, acquires or introduces’ course materials retains ownership over them. When BCIT pays someone to author a course, BCIT might claim ownership over the materials. In those cases, BCIT may also deny the creator the right to use the materials at other institutions or online.

Instructors who plan to develop and introduce a new course, whether on their own or under contract with BCIT, first should obtain a written understanding with the Associate Dean that acknowledges that the course, and all of its associated materials, will belong exclusively to the author. Course authors should expect adequate compensation for any rights over course materials claimed by BCIT. When being paid to develop a course, authors should also insist
that the agreement clearly sets out any rights that they retain over the materials.

Contact the FSA if you have any questions about the ownership of course materials. Note also that the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), of which the FSA is a member, provides information on copyright on their website. They are currently lobbying Parliament for changes to the Copyright Act on behalf of all post-secondary educators.

Best Practice: Attending "Mandatory" or Important Meetings

While there is no specific right pertaining to this, PTS Coordinators/Program Heads can create an auxiliary (PTS) contract to pay part-time studies staff or temps who are between contracts to attend department meetings at the “PTS Admin” rate (around $45/hour). While salaried staff have the benefit of being paid to attend meetings, why should non-salaried members of your department not share the same privilege? This will build morale, encourage department collegiality, and promote big picture thinking about how all staff contribute to teaching excellence and the welfare of the department.

Best Practice: Making Up a "Snow Day"

Snow days or other class cancellations due to campus closures are inconvenient for all members but can be particularly problematic for members teaching PTS (Part-Time Studies) courses.

Must you schedule an in-person make-up class?

While scheduling an in-person make-up class may seem like the most obvious solution, this “solution” may cause other problems. If you add a class to the end of the term, PTS students or instructors may have other commitments in place already, preventing them from  attending. Making up a class on a stat holiday or on another day is also problematic for the same reason (not to mention that BCIT employees should not work on a stat!).

Other ways to make up missed time

Providing students with a “take-home class” – where they complete specific readings, submit exercises, participate in peer reviews, and will be counted “absent” for a class if they don’t – is a great alternative. Some instructors make small but critical revisions to the overall  course schedule such as combining two topics or adding an extra reading/exercise to each class. If the “snow day” occurred on a scheduled test day, the test can be moved to another day in the existing schedule, and one of the above methods used to make up the “bumped” class.

For an unavoidable class cancellation like a snow day; a little creative thinking will ensure the material is suitably made up.

Professional Development (PD)

There is no denying that lack of access to PD funds for members in Part-Time Studies (PTS) is very frustrating and generally perceived as unfair. This issue is one that the FSA continues to press with the employer. In the meantime, departments should bring their PTS members’ attention to the existing “free” training opportunities that do exist for them. These include:

In addition, some Departments can help members in PTS with fee waivers for taking BCIT PTS courses that have available seats.

Where can I find more information for PTS/Auxiliary employees?

After reviewing the FSA Part-Time Studies Guide (PDF), we suggest that you check out the following additional resources which you may find useful:

  • BCIT provides a number of resources for employees, including an instructor handbook, information on PTS benefits, and other PTS resource information, via their website and a group on the BCIT intranet The Loop (Login access required).
  • We encourage all our members who work in PTS, particularly those who might be on campuses during evenings and weekends, to familiarize themselves with the BCIT emergency procedure (PDF) for their classroom location.

Have suggestions for other useful information to go on this page? Contact us and give us your feedback!

Participating in the FSA

 

I work or teach in Part-Time Studies at BCIT: Am I a member of the FSA?

All BCIT technology program “Part-Time Studies (PTS) employees”, or Auxiliary Employees (as they are called in the Collective Agreement), with the following types of contracts are FSA members and are covered by the BCIT-FSA Collective Agreement:

  • Instructor
  • Lab Assistant
  • Marker
  • Curriculum Development
  • PTS Administration

If you are a PTS/Auxiliary Employee and a member of the FSA please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Can I participate in FSA governance?

PTS/Auxiliary employees are eligible as members to:

  • Participate as members in FSA meetings, activities and committees,
  • Vote in FSA elections and contract ratification processes, and
  • Run for election for one of the Director – Associate Members positions on the FSA Board of Directors.

How can I read the FSA PTS-focused newsletter from 2016?

Click on the photo!

Front Page - Oct 2016 BCOTFSA Newsletter

What is Fair Employment Week?

Fair Employment Week is an annual campaign led by CAUT to bring awareness to the issues facing post-secondary employees whose work is precarious in nature. To find out how the FSA celebrates please visit our FEW page.

FSA Newsletter

January 2020, Vol 51 Issue 2

Check out our latest newsletter including items about bargaining, member services, collegial governance, and best practices!

January 2020, Vol 51, Issue 2 (PDF)

Newsletter Archive
  • FSA Statements on COVID

    The FSA is posting statements on COVID-19 on our blog.
    Read more!
  • 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