“We knew that what the employer was doing wasn’t right. So, there was no choice but to file a grievance.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (03 Nov. 2020) — The MGEU recently won another important grievance at arbitration, protecting vacation entitlement rights of Health Care Support Services members in Prairie Mountain Health.
Arbitration win part of a larger battle
“Maintaining single-day vacation is something the MGEU has had to fight hard for at the bargaining table, and through arbitration, over the years,” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE). “Even still, employers continue to challenge us in this area, and we’ve had to remain vigilant. This arbitration win is just the latest battle in our fight to protect these rights for members.”
In this particular instance, Prairie Mountain Health had denied a part-time employee working 10-hour shifts the ability to use their seniority when selecting all of the vacation days they were entitled to. The collective agreement provides for an initial vacation selection period where members can request their vacation based on seniority.
The employer insisted on treating the employee working 10-hour shifts as if they had worked regular shifts of 7.75 hours. The employer prorated their hours on this basis, which resulted in the employee being able to schedule only 14 of 18 vacation days during the initial selection period. The employee then had to wait to schedule the remaining 4 vacation days when they could not use their seniority to do so.
Gawronsky said that the union was able to effectively argue in arbitration that the language in the agreement on vacation applies to members working longer shifts, just as it applies to those working regular shifts or shorter shifts.
“We knew that what the employer was doing wasn’t right. So, there was no choice but to file a grievance,” said Gawronsky. “I’m happy that the arbitration panel agreed with our position, and once again, fairness prevailed in this important win for our members.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE