Advocacy Corner: can I combine my 15 minute breaks for a longer lunch?

January 19, 2018

Hi, I'm Wanda Dekleva, APSA's President and an advocate on our Advocacy Committee. I'm answering your workplace questions.

1. An APSA employee, whom I supervise, would like to combine her two 15 minute breaks to take a longer lunch hour (everyday). Is this allowed?

You may be getting CUPE and APSA work schedules mixed up. APSA members do not have set break or lunch times.

APSA members are "self-directing" and "self-disciplinary concerning the functions of their positions. [They] will exercise discretion about the time and location of work performed...", as stated in AD 10.13 Work Schedules.

With these flexible schedules, APSA members take breaks when needed and lunch when it works best.

Members must also keep in mind the operational needs of their office when determining break times. Section 2.02 goes on to explain, "determination of a work schedule will be directed to accommodating both the University's operational needs and the Employee's right to a reasonable and flexible work schedule."

Please advise your APSA staff of these policies and their options when deciding when to take lunch and for how long.   


2. If you have a supervisor/workload challenge at work and need to talk to someone in APSA about it, what are the options?

  1. Contact our office
    Anne Mason, APSA’s Executive Director, is our top, full-time advocate for members. She can be reached at or by phone at 778-782-4319.

  2. Contact an APSA advocate directly
    Our advocates are trained and highly skilled in dealing with issues such as policy violations and grievances. A list of our advocates are on the Advocacy Committee page on APSA Central.


3. You've mentioned in December’s newsletter that a market survey will be carried out to identify how APSA positions compared to similar positions within SFU and across other institutions. When is that survey taking place?

The survey is scheduled to take place this year. Conducting a market survey is a lengthy process, which includes determining comparator organizations, bench mark jobs, sending the survey out and collecting results. We expect this to take approximately one year.


Questions about the AD 10 policies or your workplace? (psst, don't worry you'll be anonymous)



Previous Advocacy Corners:


Coworker concerns

Off the books vacation

Position Eliminations

Probation and breaks

Pay grades and sick leave


Time off in lieu

Time off in lieu part 2

Severance and leaves without pay

Variable Scheduled Work Week