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Education leave

The Report: April / May 2000 vol.21 num.2

by MARYANN ABBS and YUKIE KURAHASHI

My department manager insists that the budget is tight, and that there is no money for education leave this year. Is there anything that I can do about this?

Traditionally, education leave is a very important issue for HSA members, who take pride in their expertise and professionalism. Many HSA professionals feel a strong responsibility to keep up with new developments or technologies in their fields, and to take opportunities to enhance their qualifications in order to be able to continue delivering the highest quality care. Often, ongoing education is a requirement not only of their jobs, but also of their professional licensing conditions.

Article 17.02 of the Paramedical Professional Collective Agreement says education leaves are -subject to budgetary and operational restraints." Employers often use this to deny members education leave. 

However, HSA takes the position that this clause means that the facility needs to produce its budget to show that there is no money available for education leave. In almost all cases, the employer is unable to show that they could not afford to have a member take education leave.

Historically, HSA has been very successful at resolving education leave grievances. If you apply for and are denied education leave, contact your steward to discuss filing a grievance.

I am a safety steward. How much time off am I allowed to take courses to further my education as a safety steward?

The collective agreement provides you time off to attend HSA-sponsored safety courses. To take HSA-sponsored safety courses, apply for union leave under Article 5 of the collective agreement. Under the new Workers Compensation Act, your employer is also required to provide you with one day of employer-paid time per year to further your safety steward education. 

For more information about Occupational Health and Safety courses, contact Rachel Notley or Maryann Abbs at the HSA office.

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