Regular part-time staff are entitled to sick leave when working additional shifts

Labour Arbitrator Donald Munroe has ruled that regular part-time employees covered by the Paramedical Professional collective agreement in the Interior Health Authority (IHA) are entitled to sick leave for shifts scheduled outside their regular part-time schedule.

HSA filed a grievance in February 2005 after the IHA issued a directive saying regular part time employees who missed shifts outside their regular schedule were not entitled to sick leave benefits for those additional shifts.

Ron Ohmart, HSA Executive Director ... Labour Relations, explained why the union pursued the grievance:

-The health care system depends on the people who provide the care. Because of the continued challenges of recruitment and retention of health science professionals, part-time employees are often asked to add on to their regular schedule with additional shifts. Under the IHA directive, regular employees who accepted those shifts to support the services and then were unable to report to work because of illness were denied the collective agreement rights negotiated on their behalf," Ohmart said.

In a hearing December 2, 2005, HSA lawyer Bruce Wilkins argued -a regular part-time employee does not leave her benefits at the door when she agrees to do an additional shift."

Arbitrator Munroe agreed, finding that IHAs directive -comprises a breach of the collective agreement; that regular part-time employees are entitled under the collective agreement of the sick leave benefit for the so-called additional shifts that they have been offered and accepted, in like manner as with their regular schedule."

COM 0 006 BL10093