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Agreement reached on vacation scheduling due to COVID-19 (CSS collective agreement)

Employers and unions have reached an agreement on how to address vacation scheduling for the remainder of 2020 by members covered by the Community Social Services collective agreement in light of the impact of COVID-19 on operations. The agreement applies to members in the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA), which includes HSA members.

Under the agreement reached last week, collective agreement conditions related to certain provisions of Article 18 - Annual Vacations will be amended to the end of December 2020.

At the suggestion of CSSEA, many employers did not approve vacation requests submitted after March 1. In addition, some approved vacation was rescinded in order to meet operational needs and some employees also cancelled vacations because of restrictions that limited their travel and other plans.

For those employers who did not approve any vacation requests following the March 1 deadline,  regular status employees will be required to re-submit their vacation requests by a new deadline.  For those employers who approved some vacation requests following the March 1 deadline (but not all due to COVID-19 related operational requirements), the employees who were denied vacation requests will need to re-submit their vacation requests by a new deadline. 

A new deadline for submission of vacation requests for 2020 will be set in the coming weeks, with an objective of setting July 7 as the deadline.

Seniority will continue to apply to vacation requests. While every effort will be made to approve vacation in unbroken blocks of time, the parties agreed that it may be necessary to approve smaller blocks of time due to operational requirements.

Vacations that were previously approved will not be displaced by the rescheduling of vacation.

In cases of operational emergency, or by mutual agreement, the employer may cancel vacation.

Vacation time cancelled from March 1 onward will be rescheduled in priority to other employee vacation request that have not yet been approved.

The Agreement also allows employees to carryover all unused vacation not accessed or paid out to be carried over for use in subsequent years.

The full Letter of Understanding is available here.

Please contact your steward or HSA Labour Relations Officer if you have questions or require clarification.

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