Local 53 – Halifax Regional Centre for Education Arbitration Decision

As many of you would be aware, during the most recent round of bargaining, it became evident that the Employer and the Union disagreed on the interpretation of Article 28.05 (e) (ii) of the Collective Agreement:

In the ninth (9th) year of service, ten (10) month Employees hired after January 1, 2007 shall be permitted to take up to a maximum of five (5) vacation days during the school year in addition to vacation days as needed to cover the Christmas and March Breaks subject to their vacation entitlement.

The Union’s position was that “in the ninth (9th) year” meant “during” the ninth year only, whereas the Employer was of the view that it meant “after” the ninth year. If the Employer’s position was correct, it would mean that all ten month employees hired after January 1, 2007, would forever be restricted to take a maximum of five vacation days during the school year, once they reach nine years of service. The issue only became known recently as those who were hired after January 1, 2007, would have only reached the threshold of surpassing nine years, within the last couple of years. Both parties proposed language that would clarify their own position at bargaining, but in the end, agreed to address the issue through the grievance procedure. Essentially, we agreed to disagree and the Union filed a policy grievance.

We are pleased to inform you that the arbitrator agreed with the Union’s position, in that the restriction of a maximum of five days vacation during the school year applies only during the ninth year, not beyond. It is important to note that existing restrictions for ten month members with ten years of service or more still apply (twenty days per year, vacation must be used over Christmas and March breaks and a maximum of five days can be paid out). We want to thank your Bargaining Committee, who refused to agree with the Employer’s interpretation at the bargaining table, which led to no change to the language and ultimately, this outcome.

If you have any questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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