Taking Union leave? Make sure you get paid!

union leave

Union work takes time; Shop Stewards, Committee members and elected Local Executive members know it! If you’re doing sanctioned union work, your CA allows for you to do so without losing pay. You MUST, however, cite the correct article from your agreement if you don’t want to end up in a sticky situation. In some contracts, the language requires that YEU reimburse you for your loss of salary but in most workplaces we reimburse your employer for your time.

YEU Finance Officer Tammy Olsen spends hours trying to reconcile our records with the invoices your employers send us for your time. If you do NOT cite the correct article, your loss of salary will not be reimbursed to your employer; you will have that time taken off your pay. If you attend training, Convention, a national or regional event; check your Collective Agreement and get it right!

Here are the articles for union members in some of our larger bargaining units; if yours is not listed here, please read your CA or go to http://www.yeu.ca to check the language in your contract.
YG: Article 11.13- ensures you stay on payroll. You must also cite the specific sub-article that covers the reason for your leave. These include training, conventions, bargaining, representation etc. (11.01-11.15 depending on the situation).

COW: Article 18 keeps you on payroll but you must also cite the sub article (18.07 for paid leave along with sub .04, .05 or .06 as appropriate.
Yukon College: Article 19 – Cite 19.10 to stay on payroll and the sub-article (19.01 – 19.08 as appropriate).

Remember: be specific and make sure you provide YEU with a copy of your signed leave form every time!

If you would like to review the language in your collective agreement, visit YEU’s website and read up.

Straight Talk: Do unions protect the lazy? Can no-one be fired?

why didn't you wake me

No union contract will protect workers from fair and logical consequences.

If you’re insubordinate, won’t do your job, are chronically unproductive, won’t take direction and won’t follow policy, your union won’t be able to save you. If you harass your colleagues, show up drunk or abuse your leave you can be sure to face discipline. That discipline could take the form of a letter of reprimand, a suspension or dismissal.

We often hear that unions protect the lazy & incompetent. We hear about the worker who refuses to do more than his job description demands or the co-worker who comes in late, hung over and belligerent all the time. Union membership cannot protect you from yourself. Like anyone else, a union member has to do the job they are paid to do and follow the rules.

Collective Agreements have language around discipline, outlining processes from the first complaint up to and including dismissal. What unions try and do is ensure that discipline is fair and has followed the process outlined in the negotiated contract.

Contracts offer a framework where performance management can take place in a fair and systematic manner. It’s called progressive discipline. This progressive discipline is important – it creates opportunities for members to work with management to set goals. Proper documentation makes sure expectations and consequences are clear. Progressive discipline allows staff & management to work toward solutions while making sure workers take responsibility for their own actions.

The truth is you’re just as likely to have a “dead weight co-worker” in a non-union workplace as a unionized workplace. Conflict is no fun; enforcing policy, handing out discipline and holding someone accountable is the toughest part of a supervisor or HR professional’s job. Ultimately it’s the duty of the manager to follow procedure; performance evaluations should show areas where improvement is expected. Conflict must be recorded, expectations documented and compliance tracked.

As a union it’s our duty to make sure members are treated fairly and are offered the support they need when times get tough. The bottom line is that we want to make sure any discipline you receive is warranted. The questions we ask are “did you do this, were you warned, and did you comply?” If the facts are indisputable, you were warned and you didn’t shape up, well there’s not much we can do.

The responsibility is always yours; do the work, do it well, be respectful & be accountable.

Employment Insurance in Canada; Hitting Rock Bottom

To mark the first contributions made to the unemployment insurance fund more than 73 years ago (July 1, 1941), the Public Service Alliance of Canada launched today “Employment Insurance in Canada: Hitting Rock Bottom”, a short animated video on the decline of the EI program over the last 25 years. Please share!

Share the video and find out more at http://weareallaffected.ca and http://notothecuts.ca

PSAC North Convention 2014: a Photo Gallery

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Thank you to the staff of PSAC North’s Regional Offices, those from National Office and from BC.  Thank you to all the delegates who committed their weekend to the governance of PSAC North, and thank you to all those who put their names forward to stand as nominees for elected positions. We are stronger for your efforts.

PSAC North Convention delegates elect new leadership

Congratulations to YEU activist and Executive member Jack Bourassa, elected Sunday as the PSAC North’s new Regional Executive Vice-President of the North. Jack will spend the next three years working in all three Northern Territories, representing workers from all three components.

Jack moves into his new role with the same commitment he brought to his union work with YEU. We look forward to working with our new REVP! Alternate REVP is sister Marie Buchanan, delegate from UNW in Yellowknife.

Jack at mike convention 2011      Strong Yukon labour leaders

Regional Director for  Yukon Debbie Paquette & Jack Bourassa

jack and family good

Jack with his wife Alysa and family.

High-functioning Autism creates challenges for the public sector.

CBC Reporter Julie Ireton’s report on the autism spectrum in the workforce. This interesting article highlights the challenges faced both by workers impacted with ASD and the challenges of creating work spaces best suited to their needs and skills.

Accommodation and understanding will go a long way toward ensuring workplace diversity reflects the strengths of all workers. The question of whether self identification will empower or hamstring workers is worthy of further discussion.

Suzanne Ford consults with Jordan Edwards about better awareness for Asperger's Syndrome in the federal workplace. (CBC)

Suzanne Ford consults with Jordan Edwards about better awareness for Asperger’s Syndrome in the federal workplace. (CBC)