Taking Breaks and Leaving On Time
Your Union has received numerous reports from members at Grand Villa struggling with unmanageable workloads. In some cases, members have reported working through their breaks and performing unpaid overtime to compensate.
As Union members, you have rights under your Collective Agreement and if these are denied you should ask a steward to help you file a grievance.
Please read Article 14. 3 Rest Periods and Article 16 Overtime of your Collective Agreement.
Article 14.3 Rest Periods describes the length and frequency of breaks by department. The use the word shall means that the employer must give you these breaks. The Employer can make changes to the timing of your breaks if operational requirements do not allow them to be taken at specific times – however – you must get your breaks at some point. Further, understaffing or failure to backfill absent employees is not a legitimate reason for ongoing denial of breaks. An Employer must make every reasonable effort to hire sufficient employees and backfill absent employees.
Not only is this your right – taking breaks is a safety issue. Tired workers make mistakes and mistakes lead to injuries.
Article 16.8 Right To Refuse Overtime – 'all employees have the right to refuse to work overtime without being subject to disciplinary action for doing so'. If you do not want to work overtime and you want to leave at the scheduled time – say so. Respectfully remind your manager that you have the right to refuse overtime and that you want to leave. If they tell you that you must stay – the Union's advice is to follow their direction but file a grievance each and every time it happens.
Working through breaks and not exercising your rights related to overtime is not the best way to resolve workload issues as it continues to allow a perception that the workload is manageable, when it is not. If specific workload concerns are not brought to the attention of the Employer, there is no way to address them.
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