Note: Sept 19, 2019. As announced at our recent Tech Rep meeting, even with the hiring of two new labour reps – these key messages remain in place as we get new staff up to speed. Thank you for your understanding.
Updated: June 27, 2019. After sending out this notice on June 24th we received some questions from members and have added some FAQ to the bottom of this post. Thank you to the members who reached out for more information!
The FSA office is currently significantly understaffed. The FSA board and staff remain committed to fulfilling our obligations to represent, negotiate, and advocate on behalf of members. We are working to prioritize time-sensitive and urgent matters and truly appreciate the patience of members at this time.
- The FSA office serves FSA members in the advancement and protection of their rights towards outstanding employment conditions.
- The FSA office has been understaffed for some time and is experiencing the effects of that understaffing.
- The FSA office is facing additional understaffing in the coming months with the departure of a staff person and the continuation of existing leaves.
- We cannot share additional information about the nature of the absences because personnel matters are confidential.
- The FSA leadership is currently engaged in work to hire additional staff – for both permanent and backfill positions.
- The current FSA staff are involved in an ongoing process of handling work in priority order – with a concentration on matters related to the livelihoods of FSA members – including work related to collective bargaining.
- If you have basic questions about leaves, retirement, pay, etc. – please contact your area’s BCIT Human Resources staff person or your manager first. You might also consider speaking with an informed colleague, such as your Program Head or FSA Tech Rep. Then come to the FSA if you have any questions and concerns, or are worried about your rights being compromised.
- The best way to reach the staff of the FSA remains via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate that the needs of FSA members are important and that our current staff shortage in no way diminishes that importance. We truly appreciate the patience of FSA members while we work to address the shortage.
How does this understaffing affect bargaining?
With respect to bargaining, the Chief Negotiator remains fully engaged with the bargaining process and is working diligently on behalf of members to advance bargaining. It is worth noting here that bargaining progress is driven not only by the FSA but also by BCIT and the provincial government. Updates on bargaining can be found on our website and were also provided to members at the January & April 2019 general meetings as well as the March & April Tech Rep meetings. Meeting materials can be accessed by FSA members by logging into our Member Portal.
Who is to blame for the understaffing?
This understaffing is due to a variety of factors – many of which are personal to our employees. FSA leadership have not been ignoring this issue and have been working on addressing this since the need arose. Not unlike at BCIT itself, understaffing happens due to many factors – some beyond our control. This current situation just happens to have had many of those factors collide.
What is the timeline for addressing the understaffing?
A posting for a position just closed and the selection committee has moved into the interview stage. We have formed a selection committee for a second position and they are working on a posting. We are also drafting a third posting for consideration by the internal FSA staff union (CUPE). Naturally the personal circumstances of employees – existing and perspective – must be considered and will drive the timelines.
Can you assure that this kind of understaffing will never happen again?
It is impossible to provide assurances that the FSA will never be understaffed again – nor can any organization make that commitment. BCIT itself remains understaffed in many Departments due, at times, to factors beyond their control. What we can assure is that we will do what we have done here: communicate with members.
How can I stay informed about what is happening with the FSA?
The FSA is a member-driven organization. The participation of members is crucial and we hope that you will attend future general meetings as well as participate in any surveys and votes that take place. We encourage members to reach out to their Tech Reps as well as FSA board members to ensure your voices are heard.
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