Bargaining Unit Report
July 18th, 2022
Hourly Vacation Pay
The Union has been requesting the Company to put out a communication to help explain the changes of the new vacation pay system since Wednesday July 6th. This communication was finally released Friday July 15th. In that time the Union has had numerous conversations daily with local Labour Relations and Oshawa’s Divisional Payroll department trying to get answers for the membership and their vacation pay questions.
In the past, if members had an issue with not being properly paid for a previous week a call would be put in for their committeeperson to help address and correct the issue. As much as the Union reps are there to help the membership, when it comes to pay issues the first call should be to your supervisor to notify them there is a problem with your pay and to give the Company the opportunity to address and correct the error. If the situation persists without resolve, then a call to your committeeperson would be warranted to assist you.
The Union does not have access to the Kronos timekeeping system nor the new Simplified Vacation Process. This is why your supervisor, who does have access to these systems should be your first point of contact to correct any pay related issue.
During these last 2 weeks we’ve had to drive members’ Vacation pay complaints and questions back to the Company to address while the Union has worked to piece together answers from many conversations had with Labour and Payroll that apply differently to our membership, depending on your classification. Those classifications are Legacy members, New Hire with 5+yrs, New Hires with 1+yrs, New Hires with less than 1yr and TPT’s, each with their own breakdown.
Legacy Members – based in contractual hours. 240hrs max. The old 188 VN hours + 52 Paa hours = 240hrs. The new vacation system gives credit to hours worked or earned that meet the 1000 threshold (12months), 500 threshold (6months). If you worked more than 1000 hours in the past 52 weeks you earned your full vacation entitlement of 240hrs. Last July you received 240hrs. This July you received 240hrs. The 6 month period from Jan 1st to Jun 30th 2022 is what the Employment Standards Act or (ESA) calls the STUB period, a transition from the old vacation system to the new one. Because the company advanced the vacation hour calendar 6 months, this created an “increased entitlement” of 94hrs which was pro-rated for you to use from January 1 to June 30th. As long as you worked 500 hours from July 1st to December 31st 2021 you would be eligible for 94 vacation hours plus 52paa hours (total of 146hrs) to use before June 30th 2022. What ever you did not use of that 146hrs would be paid out the first week of July. This STUB period was a one-time event.
Provided you worked 1000hrs from July 1st 2021 to June 30th 2022 you should see a full 240hrs in you VPAG balance on your pay stub. Instead of a lump sum payment, this balance is where you can draw your vacation monies from to use as you desire.
It’s been brought to the Union’s attention about members who work steady afternoon or night shifts and the avg. of shift premiums that were paid in the past – we are still working on getting an answer to this question.
Legacy members can strategically use their VPAG hours on weeks they are on afternoons and nights to get the shift premium as well. Any unused hours remaining June 30th of 2023 will only be paid out at your hourly rate. You can cash in 40hr chunks at a time on top of your weekly pay if you choose or use them in increments as small as 1 hour.
There are NO percentages of overall earnings to be paid to legacy members because you are maxed out in vacation entitlement of 240hrs.
This is the last year unpaid vacation hours will be carried over. After June 30th 2023, you will be paid out any vacation not used and the hours will be forfeited. They will not roll over into the next vacation year.
New Hires with 5+yrs – the Employment Standards Act (ESA) states any worker with more than 5yrs in a company is entitled to 120hrs (3 weeks) of vacation or 6% of earnings within the vacation entitlement year. In years past, 80 vacation hours were reserved for shutdown in July. You could book the rest of the time as vacation throughout the year, but the vacation money wouldn’t be paid out till the end of June. If you worked more hours throughout the year and your 6% calculation of overall earnings was greater than 120 hours of pay, then by law the company would’ve paid you the greater amount in a lump sum. With the new VPAG system, you can now take 40hrs of vacation and get paid for it or use the VPAG in increments as small as 1 hour.
The hours you worked from July 1st to December 31st is the accrual timeframe for the STUB period that ran from Jan 1 to June 30th 2022 (6 months of earnings – 6 months of vacation hours with pay). Provided you worked 500 hours from July 1 to December 31, on January 1st you should’ve received 60hrs of vacation hours with pay to use before June 30th. Any unused hours were paid out July 7th. Payroll is doing a manual calculation of the 6% for the accrual period (July 1 – Dec 31 ’21) which they’ve said they hope to have calculated and paid out as early as this week.
The benefit of the VPAG system is now when you take vacation time off you can get paid for it instead of taking the time off and getting the pay at the end of June.
The 12-month calculation of hours worked from July 1 2021 to June 30th 2022 at 6% has yet to be calculated. This calculation will be performed at the end of the vacation year June 30th 2023. A comparison of hours paid vs ESA calculation of 6% in the accrual year of July 1, 2021 to June 30th 2022 will be performed, and any outstanding monies will be topped up and paid out.
New Hires with less than 5yrs – will have vacation hours for time served as per paragraph 114 of the Master calculated at 4% of earnings. If the percentage of earnings is greater than the entitled contractual hours would pay, then by law the greater amount would be paid.
New Hires with less than 1yr – will be paid 4% of hours worked/earnings in the vacation entitlement year.
TPT’s – you are paid out your vacation monies weekly @ 4% of the hours worked from the previous week.
A shout out to Vince Filice, Ken Maclean, Taylor Dempster and Zac Scott for your help and support.
Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson
On behalf of the Shop Committee, Stan Kuczma, John Adair, Scott Little, Tony Verde