The BCIT Faculty and Staff Association (FSA) is escalating its job action immediately with a ban on overtime and on-call duty. In addition, the union is planning strike action at all BCIT Campuses on Monday, November 19th. All BCIT operations, including evening Part-Time Studies, will be impacted.
“We are only at the point of striking because our members see the quality of BCIT’s instructional model being threatened,” said FSA President Teresa Place. “The BC Government says it has a commitment to skill development, but frankly we don’t see that there’s a commitment to the instructors developing those skills; to date we have been offered nothing.”
FSA members will be picketing the south side of the Burnaby campus, the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation in Burnaby, the BCIT Downtown Vancouver Campus, the Great Northern Way Campus, and the Aerospace Campus in Richmond.
BCIT’s reputation for producing job-ready graduates relies on recruiting and retaining faculty and staff with industry experience. The union is working to obtain a collective agreement that addresses the needs of its members and prevents a decline in quality at BCIT. It has been without a collective agreement since June 30, 2010.
“We know that, like BCIT, most colleges can afford wage increases of 2% a year and that, because of financial concerns at a few small colleges, the BC Government will only agree to 1% a year. The cost of a 1% increase at those institutions is about $1.5M a year. That’s about the cost of Family Day celebrations, and less than the cost of the premier’s TV appearances in support of the skills agenda. It’s startling to think that our ministry would risk the quality of our instructional programs for the sake of $1.5M spread across the entire system,” said FSA President Place.
“We hope the provincial government will give BCIT the authority to negotiate a fair and reasonable contract,” said Place. “FSA members refuse to sit back and watch the erosion of the learning environment they have built,” she said.
The BCIT Faculty and Staff Association is the largest bargaining unit in BC’s colleges and institutes, representing over 1,400 employees of BCIT, including technology and part-time studies faculty, assistant instructors, technical staff, researchers, curriculum development professionals, librarians, program advisors and counselors.