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Job postings for health science professionals

The Report: January/February 2009 vol.29 num.6


The chief paramedical for our department has recently had to take some time off for illness. One of my colleagues was temporarily appointed to the chief position, and has been acting in that capacity ever since. He is doing a terrific job. However, I had also hoped to apply for the chief position one day should it become vacant.

Then we heard last week that the illness that prompted our chief to take time off work has been diagnosed as being a very serious ailment. She now expects to be away for at least a year. Our employer has told us that they are not going to post the position, and my colleague will just continue on in acting capacity until our chief recuperates. Is this right?


According to Articles 9.02 & 9.06 of the health science professionals contract, a vacancy must be posted if it is anticipated to last for longer than four months. Chief health science professional vacancies must be posted. Excluded managers should not be performing the work of the chief health science professional.


Our supervisor has posted a temporary vacancy, but is telling us to ignore the end date because it will likely be an ongoing position.

A few of us are interested in the position; some of us are casual, and others already have permanent jobs. what are some of the issues we should consider?


Temporary vacancies are jobs of four months duration or longer with a specific end date included in the job posting. If the employer wishes to extend the term of the position an additional posting is required in most cases.

Temporary vacancies can be filled by casual or regular employees. Regular employees return to their previous position at the end of the term if the temporary vacancy is with the same employer .

Casuals filling temporary vacancies become regular employees for the duration of the posting and are entitled to all benefits of the collective agreement except long term disability. Casuals revert to casual status on expiry of the position.


One of our colleagues retired. Now the entire department is making do with what we have. This means casuals are filling in whenever available, and were all taking on more work. The employer shows no inclination to post the vacancy, saying the current patient load doesnt warrant another technologist. what should we do?


In some cases, the employer does not post a vacancy but expects the remaining employees to perform the work of the vacant position. workload problems can be the result, and should be addressed through the workload provisions of the collective agreement as well as through grievances under this article. If a vacancy at your worksite is not posted, monitor the situation to see if the work has shifted to other members, and document your increased workload.

In addition, ongoing vacancies of four months or more cannot be filled with casuals and must be posted. If a casual (or a series of casuals) has been working continually for that length of time, contact your steward to discuss filing a grievance.

Once it has been determined that there is a vacancy, it should be posted so all members have the chance to bid on the position. If a casual employee is already doing that work, contact your steward. The member who has been filling the vacancy should be compensated by receiving the same compensation ... for example wages, benefits, leave accruals ... a regular employee would have received while doing the work. For example, sick and special leave banks would have accrued, and the member would have received dental and extended health benefits.


My spouse and I are soon leaving on a longplanned trip, volunteering for three months as physiotherapists in a developing country. However, Ive just learned that a supervisory position may soon become vacant. Im interested in that job ... but because email is probably not available where Im going, I will not be able to keep track. Can I apply in advance?


Members who are away from work and anticipate that a specific position may be posted in their absence can leave a job application with the employer and must make themselves available for a job interview within the time frame described in the agreement. Separate applications must be made for the specific jobs anticipated to become vacant during each absence. 

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