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    • 26 APR 24
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    Questions of the Week – May 2024


    Q: Now that the new Collective Agreement is available online, when will the pay scales be posted?

    A: Pay scales aren’t posted online independently of the contract with the employer. Our most recent Collective Agreement runs from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025, with the wage scale dictated by provincial pattern bargaining. In March of this year the final general wage increase was established at three percent, which is reflected in the final wages in Article 15 of our agreement. Which is to say that the Collective Agreement is up-to-date.


    Q: I have been having intense and unpleasant interactions with my AD lately, including what seems to me, at least, to be the dictionary definition of bullying including raised voices and veiled threats. Is there any help the FSA can provide?

    A: If your manager begins to behave like this in a meeting the first step is to tell them to please not yell at you. Inform them also that if they continue to do so you may file a Respect Diversity Inclusion complaint about their behavior. For more on when and when not to have union representation at a meeting with your manager, see Labour Relations Representative Michael Thompson’s recent Voice essay (pp. 8-9).


    Q: With the recent notice of staff reduction, how does a Department determine whether a vacancy is temporary or regular? In other words, whether a position has a fixed end date or not.

    A: Under Article 4.2.2, a temporary position can only be posted in four specific circumstances. It’s worth posting the language here in its entirety. A Temporary Employee shall be used only:

    • to fill a vacancy created by a Regular Employee who is away from that Regular Employee’s position or from the Institute, for a stated period of time;
    • to fill a temporary vacancy up to one year where instructional staff are unable to configure to meet training delivery requirements or to accommodate unanticipated circumstances which result in the temporary need for increased staff;
    • to fill a temporary vacancy caused by a temporary increase in workload or a temporary shortage of expertise in the specific area for up to one year; or
    • to fill a temporary vacancy that is grant-funded with a duration of no longer than three (3) years. In this regard, a “grant-funded appointment” is an appointment for a specific term, for the sole purpose of performing work on a time-limited research, curriculum development, or academic program development project that is funded by a grant from an external agency or entity.

    In an era of layoffs, the likelihood of and is probably low.


    Q: I remember, about a year ago, seeing an FSA call out for Departments to receive collegial governance training. Is that still something you offer?

    A: Yes, it absolutely is. Collegial governance rights are broadly established in Article 14 of our Collective Agreement with the employer. They provide the collective of members (and one manager) that comprise a BCIT Department with a host of powers over their working day. Over a dozen Departments have been trained on how to enact their Article 14 collegial governance rights so far, and some combination of Vice President Shannon Kelly, Executive Director Doug Thorpe-Dorward, and Member Engagement Officer Matt Greaves can provide your Department with Article 14 training next.

    Q: Ahead of my regularization date, the Tech Rep in my Department explained what a “regularization snapshot” is. I think I understand, for the most part, but how do I get a hold of this snapshot?

    A: Article 4.6 of the Collective Agreement deals with FSA member regularization. Temporary FSA-unionized employees who’ve worked at BCIT for two years with no more than five months continuous break will regularize, unless their current temporary contract is for backfill or a grant-funded position, which delays regularization. See – for more detail. Members regularize at the FTE on the day of their regularization snapshot, be it 0.5 FTE, 0.66 FTE, 1 FTE, etc. Regularizing FSA members can request their snapshot date by emailing the Institute’s Human Resources Coordinators.

    Q: How do we know if the Institute has eliminated a position after a retirement? Are we to trust management to tell us the truth?

    A: Under Article of the Collective Agreement, managers shall involve the Department (i.e. FSA members) in budget and personnel matters, inter alia, so you have the right to know and to be involved. If you receive pushback and/or answers that you feel are violating your Collective Agreement rights, please get in touch.

    If the position is in fact being eliminated due to the retirement of an employee, after the effective date of retirement and the decision has been made to eliminate the position, the reasons for this “shall be forwarded in writing to the Union within one (1) calendar month of the vacancy occurring” as per Article Members can also follow up with the FSA if they have questions about eliminated positions.


    Q: I was told that our Department’s Program Head couldn’t regularize in that position. Is this true?

    A: Under the terms of our Collective Agreement Regularization occurs after two years of employment as a Temporary Employee (see Article 4.6). If an employee was hired as a Temporary Employee and then appointed to a Program Head position (which is a temporary Administrative position), the employee’s underlying position could be regularized after two years, even if they were at the time occupying a temporary administrative position. The Program Head appointment would remain a temporary appointment with terms and conditions as defined by the department under Article but certainly the employee could be regularized while occupying  the Program Head position.

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