Two big Community Support Grievance Wins in May

care comes first image with community support worker

May 21, 2019

Community Support members in both the Southern Health (Locals 404 and 406) and Prairie Mountain Health (Local 402) will have a little more money in their pockets this month thanks to two big MGEU grievance wins.

“Downtime” deserves premium

In the fall of 2015, the Southern RHA stopped paying weekend premiums on any EFT downtime hours. This meant that if a member worked an 8-hour shift, but had two hours of “unassigned” time within their schedule (often used for travel or to catch up with tasks), they were not paid the premium on those hours.

The MGEU immediately challenged this move at Labour Management meetings, and eventually, the employer backed down and agreed to resume paying the premiums. However, this did not address the issue of retroactive pay for the period when the stoppage occurred.

We argued through many lengthy discussions with the employer that members deserved to be compensated for the lost payment of weekend premiums. But the employer dragged their feet, saying that the Provincial Health Labour Relations Secretariat would not agree to any retroactive pay.

So the MGEU filed a formal grievance, at which time the employer finally agreed to rectify the error and provide retroactive payment for all weekend premiums missed.

All Local 404 and 406 members currently working for the Southern RHA and impacted by the missing premiums have received their retroactive payment.

Those former Local 404 and 406 members no longer working for the Southern RHA have a 60-day period to request their payment and are encouraged to contact the employer.

Change in mileage calculation reversed

The Prairie Mountain RHA recently attempted to change the way mileage is calculated for home care members – instead of starting to clock mileage from their home on first/last work assignments, they were told to start clocking at certain “boundaries.”

The MGEU immediately contacted the employer and made it clear that this change was a breach of the collective agreement. The employer, however, would not back down and the union filed a grievance.

When MGEU legal experts filed for expedited arbitration at the Labour Board, the employer finally responded and agreed to resume the former practice of clocking mileage from members’ homes.

They also agreed to pay members retroactively for all lost mileage payments during the change. We believe that hundreds of members may have been impacted and many will be getting a very significant retroactive payment as a result of the union’s grievance. 

As soon as the employer makes the necessary calculations, all Local 402 members currently working for the Prairie Mountain RHA who were impacted by the change will receive their retroactive payment automatically along with their regular bi-weekly pay.

If members have any questions, they’re encouraged to contact the MGEU Member Resource Centre at 1-866-982-6438 or resourcecentre@mgeu.ca.

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