May 5, 2021
GM Membership Update
The Company has informed the Union they are upgrading their antiquated Time Keeping System (or TKS) to a new system to manage time called KRONOS.
Due to this system change, the Union has been working with the Company on a new agreement that offers each employee greater flexibility and control for your vacation time and money. The transition to Kronos will eventually combine all contractual Vacation and PAA time into one balance.
The transition will happen in phases. Once the transition is complete it will line up the 2 separate vacation pay and the vacation time calendars into one creating a new vacation calendar beginning July 1st and ending June 30th. This will make for a more streamlined user-friendly vacation system that can be accessed all year with no exclusions. This transition process is set to begin July 1st, 2021 and to be fully implemented by July 1st, 2023.
Throughout this process we will continue to communicate to you what is next in the process and notable highlights of the new vacation process.
Some notable benefits are:
- Once implemented the “New Vacation Process” will align both Vacation time and Money into one calendar.
- Vacation pay will be based on hours worked from the previous 52 weeks and vacation hours will be contractual. This will lessen issues with EI as vacation pay will be based on the previous year. The contractual 1000 hours worked qualifier for the entire vacation year will still be used.
- Vacation hours can be taken in one-hour increments.
- Pay is realized when the time is taken off and is paid at the current shift scheduled shift premium.
- Forms to request for advances and deferrals are no longer required. Requests are made by employees online in “Kronos” and true balance of time is shown.
- Employees can realize greater vacation pay by strategically using vacation during shift premium weeks.
- Those with a milestone date in the vacation year will have the vacation entitlement in advance of the date. Example: May 10 hire will see the next milestone on previous July 1 and can utilize that time prior to May 10. Employees hired on July 10 will not see a balance until July 1 the following year.
- Flexibility in using vacation time. Paid when you use it or defer up to 40 hours to be paid at the end of the vacation year or request to be paid vacation pay while at work to reduce balance. Employees can individually manage their vacation balance to their own strategy.
- No mandatory 2 week shutdown for all employees. Only those that have a shutdown will use vacation hours then. Those that don’t have a shutdown can request for an advance to be paid if they wish the value then to reduce tax liabilities. Note: After July 1st, 2022 any vacation allocation to another week for tax mitigation will be considered an advance. The Company will no longer hold back the 80 hours for the first 2 weeks in July and Members will have the ability to advance to weeks of their choosing.
- Vacation scheduling with pay by the week based on the below. Any vacation with pay hours remaining can be taken in smaller increments as agreed to at the local level.
How vacation usage is broken down in the new system:
Hours How hours are administered
80-112 40 hours fixed vacation time and 40 to 72 hours as flexible PAA
120-160 40 hours fixed vacation time and 80 to 120 hours as flexible PAA
180-240 80 hours fixed vacation time and 100 to 160 hours as flexible PAA
The Transition Process
a) To manage the transition, all paid vacation deferrals from July 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2021 will be converted to unpaid except for the mandatory 2-week shutdown period. Employees can still take the unpaid vacation time as their balance allows during this 6-month period.
b) During the transition process in 2021, employees may choose to advance 40 hours of pay even while at work now until June 18th to lessen tax implications of a lump sum vacation payout. Any unused vacation or PAA hours will be paid out that week in week 26 for deposit on July 2nd, 2021. The unused time will still be available till December 31st, 2021 as is our current practice.
All requests for advances must be into Payroll by end of day of the previous Thursday before pay. The last deposit date for an advance is June 24th and the form must be in by end of the day on June 17th. This week would be June 14-June 18, 2021.
- Employees who have worked 500 hours from July 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2021 will be provided 1⁄2 of their contractual vacation time on January 1st, 2022. This time will be paid vacation time to be used up to and including June 30th, 2022. This is the start of the process to have hours allocated to the previous year.PAAs are dealt with separately at the beginning of the transition process. They will still be provided in July 2021 and available for use until June 30th, 2022.
- In the pay week following June 30th, 2022 employees will be paid out for all unused vacation with pay hours or deferred hours. The carry over of unpaid hours WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE TO USE until June 30, 2023 for the final time.Note: After July 1st, 2022 any vacation allocation to another week for tax mitigation will be considered an advance. The Company will no longer hold back the 80 hours for the first 2 weeks in July and Members will have the ability to advance to weeks of their choosing.
July 1st, 2022 will be the start of a new vacation year. PAA and vacation will be combined. Vacation with pay can now be taken in smaller increments as noted above.
- In the pay week following June 30th, 2023 employees will be paid out all their unused vacation hours as in previous years. However, all unused hours will not be carried over and a new vacation with pay balance will now be determined from the previous year.
- Shift premiums will be based on your true shift schedule and will be paid when you take vacation. Shift premium will not be applied to unused hours when they are paid out. You have the ability to defer up to 40 hours to the end of the vacation year as well as asking for vacation advances while still working, both would exclude shift premium on the vacation pay portion.
- Employees are required to take vacation with pay prior to any unpaid vacation hours if the 1000-hour threshold from the previous 52 weeks is not met as per the ESA. As per Paragraph 113 and 116 of the Master Agreement, employees will reduce their vacation with pay by 5% for every 50 hours not worked.
- Employees on short-term layoff who have a pre-booked vacation will have their vacation paid unless said vacation is electronically cancelled by Friday in the week preceding their scheduled vacation. This can be done through Kronos. All cancelled balances will revert to previous taken balance. Furthercommunication will be coming on accessing Kronos.
- Local vacation scheduling practices will remain in effect. Local Absenteeism and authorizations for vacation and for absences remain in effect.
Tim McKinnon, GM Unit Chairperson
On behalf of the Bargaining Committee
Paul Dortono, Trevor Longpre, Ken Naldjieff, Glenn Currie, Kevan Anderson
UNIFOR Local 199