BCIT Faculty and Staff Association ratify new contract

Members of the BCIT Faculty and Staff Association (FSA) have ratified a new contract with the BC Institute of Technology, following a labour dispute that included three-and-a-half days of strike action and an overtime ban in November and December.

FSA members have been without a contract since June 30, 2010. The new agreement includes no wage increases until March 31, 2013 after which pay hikes will total four per cent by the time the contract expires on June 30, 2014, said an FSA press release.

The agreement includes no other significant changes in compensation or working conditions.

“FSA members have come to accept that the provincial government is not willing to address the problems faced by BCIT – in spite of the current skills initiative," said FSA president Teresa Place in the release. "Sadly, BCIT will continue to lose ground to the industries and universities with whom we compete for faculty and staff."

The resulting wage increase, four per cent over four years, is an improvement over the government's initial proposal of two per cent over four years, said FSA executive director and negotiator Paul Reniers in the release. But it is still not competitive with the three per cent annually that is being seen in the industries from which faculty and staff are recruited.

Several issues are outstanding, including FSA members being "the only employee group in the sector not eligible for EI top up for members on parental leave" and the fact 60 per cent of BCIT classes are taught by auxiliary instructors.

"The provincial government has missed a real opportunity to show that it’s serious about investing in the people who deliver skills training.”

The BCIT Faculty and Staff Association represents over 1,400 employees at BCIT, including technology and part-time studies faculty, assistant instructors, technical staff, researchers, curriculum development professionals, librarians, program advisors and counselors.

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