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    Questions of the Week — March 2024


    Q: Has BCIT produced new pay scales for 2024? I was looking on the FSA Collective Agreement page and BCIT’s site but couldn’t find anything.

    A: I did some poking around the BCIT website but was unable to find a pay-scale chart for 2024. That said, an explanation may get us most of the way there. Annual raises begin on July 1, the beginning of the contract year of our Collective Agreement with the employer. Two-thirds of the annual increases for the 2022-25 contract are already reflected in your wage. The final increase, beginning July 1, 2024, will be two percent plus a potential cost of living increase to three percent, depending on inflation—in line with the provincial Shared Recovery Mandate.

    Q: I’m a full-time faculty member and I’m finding myself, more and more, putting in non-contact hours in excess of what I’m paid for. What should I do about this?

    A: This is somewhat complicated terrain to navigate. Luckily the FSA have an FAQ page dedicated entirely to overtime and compensation. There isn’t really a short answer to your question, other than that we ask that members not volunteer to work excessive hours on a voluntary basis without compensation. Follow the link and please bear in mind distinctions between Regular Teaching Faculty and Specialized Faculty, Assistant Instructors, and Technical Staff as well as those between contact and non-contact hours (for teaching Faculty).


    Q: What are Article 19 (pp. 109-10) discipline meetings used for? I looked it up in our contract and they seem intimidating, but I don’t really know why these meetings happen.

    A: Article 19 Disciplinary Meetings are meant for potentially serious breaches of protocol. They are absolutely not meant to resolve trivial workplace issues or banal personality clashes with a manager. Speaking precisely, there isn’t really a universal list that BCIT managers use to determine what rises to the level of an Article 19 and what doesn’t. In any event, the FSA will be there to support members called in to Article 19 Meetings.

    In October 2022, our Labour Relations Representative Michael Thompson gave a presentation to Tech Reps on the Article 19 Disciplinary Meetings, which may be useful here. See also our January Member Questions of Week for more on Article 19 investigations.

    Q: Members of my Department think that our manager may have violated the Collective Agreement by failing to meet with us before promoting an AI to backfill a teaching Faculty instructor who’s away. What can we do about this?

    A: This is a bit of a Collective Agreement deep track, so we applaud your knowledge of our contract! Article states that “[a]n Assistant Instructor may be assigned or appointed on a temporary basis to replace or substitute for a teaching Faculty Employee who is absent. Such assignment or appointment shall be recommended by the Manager after consulting with the Employees in the Department. It may also be recommended through the normal selection process as defined in Article 5.2. The decision or method of appointment shall be Departmental.” In other words, managers have a duty to consult with Department members before making a decision. This consultation must be open and allow for the possibility that a manager’s mind may be changed through the exchange of ideas. If this is an ongoing problem with the manager—that is, management ignoring Article 14 rights—we’ve recently published a case study on members taking back those rights. See also our guide to holding successful Department meetings. You can also contact us for help.


    Q: How many days of sick leave can we take before requiring a doctor’s note? I found 10 successive days in the contract. Does this mean that employees can take 2 weeks of sick leave including weekends?

    A: Sick leave is covered under Article 9.3.2 of the Collective Agreement. You are entitled to sick leave when you are unable to come to work because of illness or injury. The agreement requires that you advise your manager (or equivalent) on the day of illness if you are unable to attend work.

    While the language of the contract is not mandatory, the employer may require you to provide a statement from your personal physician after you have been on sick leave for either 10 successive working days or 18 working days in a calendar year. The statement from your physician would need to specify the general nature and prognosis (how the illness or injury might impact your work) but should not include a specific diagnosis of your condition.


    Q: I’m an assistant instructor. I’m wondering if there’s anything written in the Collective Agreement about Spring Break. Do I get to work from home because students aren’t on campus, or do I have to come in for the week?

    A: See Article 8.7 of the Collective Agreement for more on Spring Break. For instructional faculty, duties are allocated by the Department (meaning all the FSA members in your Department plus your immediate manager). Follow the link for more. The short answer is that if you are not assigned duties to be on campus during Spring Break then you are not expected to be on campus performing those duties.

    To learn how to effectively run Department meetings where votes take place, please see this overview. The FSA also provides collegial governance training, which can help members effectively utilize their contract language to run their Department. Contact your Member Engagement Officer Matt Greaves if your Department is interested.


    Q: I’m new to the FSA. What’s the most important thing to know about working at BCIT?

    A: Welcome to our Union! The FSA is a certified trade union and member-driven association that represents full-time and part-time technological faculty and staff at BCIT. New members can see our New Member Handbook for important information to guide their transition to working at the Institute. This includes very important information on challenging your initial placement.

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