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HSAS & North East EMS: April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2026

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ARTICLE 16 – LEAVES OF ABSENCE

16.01     On completion of any approved leave of absence, the employee shall return to the same salary level and same or comparable position held prior to taking such leave.

16.02     Request for Leave of Absence

Except in extenuating circumstances:

(a)     All requests for leaves of absence are subject to operational needs, must be submitted in writing at least twenty-one (21) days in advance to the immediate supervisor (except in cases of pressing necessity and bereavement leave), and shall include dates of commencement and return.

(b)     Requests to extend the leave will be submitted a minimum of twenty-one (21) days in advance of the previously agreed upon date of return.

(c)     Requests to reduce the length of leave will be submitted a minimum of twenty-one (21) days in advance of the new date of return.

16.03     Should a leave of absence request be denied by the Employer, the Employee may request that the reasons for the denial be provided in writing.

16.04     Pressing Necessity

An Employee shall be granted leave without pay for pressing necessity. Pressing necessity shall be defined as a sudden or unusual occurrence that could not, by the exercise of reasonable judgment, have been foreseen by the Employee and which requires the immediate attention of the Employee. The Employer reserves the right to request documentation to support the leave request.

The Employee may elect to use any entitlement to time off such as vacation, public holiday or earned time to replace the loss of pay associated with unpaid leave.

16.05     Bereavement Leave

Upon request, on the death of a family member, as herein defined, an employee shall be granted bereavement leave with pay from scheduled work as follows:

(a)     Up to four (4) work days in the event of the death of the spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter.

(b)     Up to two (2) work days in the event of the death of a grandparent, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law, or someone with whom they have an equivalent relationship.

(c)     Employees who have to travel five hundred (500) kilometers or more one (1) way to attend a funeral or other family responsibilities related to Article 16.05, shall be granted an additional one (1) day off without loss of pay.

(d)     Insofar as the regular operation of the Employer will permit, up to four (4) hours to attend the funeral of a co-worker.

(e)     The preceding entitlement to paid days off cannot be combined in the case of more than one (1) death at the same time – the longest entitlement shall apply. In addition, the employee may request vacation, earned time or public holiday pay to replace the loss of pay of any additional and unpaid days of leave approved for this purpose.

16.06     Education Leave of Absence

(a)     Participation in pertinent educational programs is encouraged by the Employer. Subject to adequate staffing levels being maintained, and upon the request of an employee, the Employer may grant leave, with or without pay, to attend approved conferences, workshops, seminars or professional meetings covering job-related topics. If the educational event occurs on an employee’s day off, the employer may grant equivalent time off with pay. Tuition costs, registration fees, or expenses incurred may be paid by the Employer and should be included with any request from an employee for an educational leave of absence.

(b)     When the Employer requires and requests the attendance of an employee at a conference or workshop, or similar educational session, normal salary and benefits shall be continued. When attendance is required on days off, employees shall be entitled to equivalent time off with pay. In addition, all registration or tuition fees and reasonable and substantiated expenses related to the educational session or meeting shall be paid by the Employer.

(c)     The Employer may periodically offer optional educational, informational or therapy programs or classes. Attendance will be optional and without pay. Employees declining to attend these sessions will not be negatively impacted in any way. No pay shall be provided for CME credits. Employees will be given the opportunity to complete training to obtain CME credits while on work time.

(d)     Attending education as required by Saskatchewan Health or the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics shall be paid their straight time hourly rate to a maximum of eight (8) hours for each education unless the employee is already scheduled to be at the disposal of the Employer during the hours of the education session. The employee’s attendance shall be subject to the Employer’s approval. Those employees approved to attend education who are currently scheduled to be at the disposal of the Employer during the education session shall be paid their regular hourly rates. Employees will be given the opportunity to take on-line education at work while on shift to complete training required by the College of Paramedics to maintain their licensure. Emergency calls and transfers without delay will always take priority over on-line education.

(e)     The Employer will make arrangements for the following certification and re­certification programs (where applicable), ACLS, ITLS, CPR/AED, NRP, EMO, Car Seat Clinics and PALS/NALS/PEPP and any other specific certification and re­certification programs deemed mandatory by the Employer. If the employee is scheduled to work on the day they are in training, they will be paid at their regular rate of pay.

Employees shall be required to possess and maintain a valid Operator’s Driving License recognized in Saskatchewan, with valid endorsements, and the following certification and re-certification programs, ACLS, ITLS, CPR/AED, and PALS/NALS/PEPP and any other specific certification and re-certification programs deemed mandatory by the Employer, the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics or applicable legislation.

In order to retain their employment, employees shall be responsible for immediately advising the Employer of restrictions placed on their Operator’s License, or of the loss of such license, or the failure to maintain any of the active certifications as required above. It is understood and agreed that the loss of a valid driving Saskatchewan Operator’s License, with valid endorsements, as well as any of the other certifications listed above, will constitute just cause for immediate termination of employment, subject to the requirements of reasonable accommodation pursuant to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.

(f)     Employees who wish to pursue educational opportunities that require an absence from work in excess of one month, must apply for a leave of absence. The employee’s increment date will not change as a consequence of an educational leave of absence.

(g)     The payment for any courses, as permitted above, will in no circumstance directly result in the payment of overtime to an employee. Paid education hours will not accrue seniority or be considered as time worked.

(h)     Where education is provided locally or at a lower cost, the Employer may restrict its approval to locally provided or lower-cost education.

16.07     Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Leave

An employee who is expecting the birth or adoption of a child shall be entitled to maternity/paternity/adoption leave without pay, provided she presents a medical certificate confirming the probable date of confinement, or in the case of adoption, gives the Employer notice of eligibility. Except in extenuating circumstances, the notice shall be submitted in writing twenty-eight (28) days in advance of the leave and shall specify the probable date of commencement and the anticipated length of leave.

The following conditions shall apply:

(a)     Leave of Absence for maternity/paternity/adoption shall be for up to eighteen (18) months as requested by the employee, except in extenuating circumstances when, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, the leave should be further extended.

(b)     Upon return from such leave, the employee will resume employment in the same or in a comparable position at the same step and range of pay occupied prior to the granting of such leave. In the event the employee on Maternity/Paternity/Adoption leave is affected by lay-off, she shall be afforded access to the provisions of Article 11: Layoff and Recall.

(c)     Notice of intention to return to work or request for a change of the length of the leave of absence, must be forwarded to the Employer twenty-eight (28) days prior to the expiration of the leave. The employee shall be entitled to one (1) extension of the said leave. However, the entire length of such leave of absence shall not exceed eighteen (18) months.

(d)     An Employee shall have access to sick leave credits as per Article 24 prior to the commencement of the maternity/paternity/adoption leave.

(e)     Full-time Employees’ seniority will continue to accrue as if they were working. Less than full-time Employees will accrue seniority based on the average weekly hours they had earned in the previous fifty-two (52) weeks or earned from the commencement of work if they have not worked fifty-two (52) weeks.

16.08     Parental Leave

(a)     An employee shall be granted unpaid parental leave in accordance with provincial labour standards legislation, upon providing the Employer with twenty-eight (28) days’ Unless otherwise mutually agreed between the Employer and the Employee, parental leave must be fully taken within one (1) year from the date when the child comes into the Employee’s care.

(b)     Upon return from such leave, the employee will resume employment in the same position or in a comparable position and at the same step and range of pay occupied prior to the granting of such leave.

(c)     The employee shall give the Employer twenty-eight (28) days’ written notice of intention to return to work or twenty-eight (28) days’ written notice if the intention is to return to work from the leave early.

(d)     Full-time Employees will continue to accrue seniority as if they were working. Less than full-time Employees will accrue seniority based on the average weekly hours they had earned in the previous fifty-two (52) weeks or earned from the commencement of work if they have not worked fifty-two (52) weeks.

16.09     Service Leave

On request, employees with four (4) or more years of service may, on only one (1) occasion per fiscal year, be granted up to four (4) weeks of unpaid leave of absence without loss of benefits, at the sole discretion of the Company.

16.10     Jury and Court Leave

(a)     An employee subpoenaed as a Crown witness for court or for jury duty during scheduled work time shall be paid their normal wages as if they worked for the time spent in Court, for all purposes. If the jury leave is at a time when she is not scheduled to work, the employee will bank this amount of time at regular rates for taking off at a time mutually agreed with the Company. Paid or banked time as a result of jury duty shall not exceed four (4) weeks per calendar year.

(b)     Except by mutual agreement, employees shall not be required to attend work whereby the employee’s combined hours of work and jury duty/witness time exceed twelve (12) hours in any twenty-four (24) hour period.

(c)     Employees called in for court duty associated with the Employee’s regular duties during their vacation period or public holiday will be granted an additional vacation day or statutory holiday for each day required to appear in court and receive her regular rate of pay for the time spent at court each day, to a maximum of one day’s wages. All money received by the Employee from the court, except for travel, meal and other expenses, shall be remitted to North East EMS.

(d)     The Company shall grant leave with pay to an employee for the period of time he is required to appear before court, judge, magistrate, coroner, or peace officer as a defendant or witness, where the requirement to appear is a direct result of the performance of their regular duties of the Company.

16.11     Maintenance of Benefits and Seniority While on Leave

(a)     When leave of absence without pay is for thirty-one (31) calendar days or more, no sick leave credits or annual vacation credits will be accumulated for the entire period of absence and a new salary increment date will be established. In the instances of maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave, the Employee shall maintain her increment date for up to twelve (12) months while on leave. Prior to commencement of the leave, the Employer shall inform Employees of their options, where applicable, to continue Group Life Insurance, Long-Term Disability, Short-Term Disability, Extended Health, and Dental coverage during their leave.

(b)     For Full-Time and Casual Employees, their increment date shall be maintained on a pro-rata basis calculated on their paid hours over the previous fifty-two (52) weeks, or length of employment if less than fifty-two (52) weeks.

Additionally, for Full-Time and Casual Employees, the hours paid for standby over the previous fifty-two (52) weeks, or length of employment if less than fifty-two (52) weeks, shall be divided by three (3) and be included in the maintenance of the increment date.

16.12     Leave for Union Business

The Employer shall grant up to three (3) employees time off without pay for collective bargaining associated with achieving a renewal collective agreement. The Employer shall grant one (1) employee time off without pay for union business to a maximum total of three (3) days per calendar year. The Employer agrees to continue to pay normal salary and benefits to the employee(s) selected to attend collective bargaining or union business and that the employer is to charge the union for reimbursement of the total payroll cost associated with this leave. The Union will reimburse the employer within the thirty (30) days of receipt of the billing.

16.13     Family Responsibility Leave

               (a)     An Employee may be granted leave of absence with pay to attend to a family member for whom she has a reasonable expectation for duty of care. Leave will be granted where the Employee has made reasonable efforts to use other available solutions and the situation requiring the Employee’s attention is:

Employees may also request vacation, earned time or unpaid leave of absence as may be required for this purpose.

              (b)     Full-time Employees shall earn family responsibility leave credits at the rate of one and four tenths (1.4) hours per month to a maximum of two (2) days (i.e., sixteen (16) hours). Part time Employees shall earn family responsibility leave credits, prorated based on paid hours. Casual employees and probationary employees are not eligible for family leave. Upon successful completion of probation, a full-time or part-time employee will be credited with family responsibility leave credits earned during probation.

16.14     Medical Leave

               (a)     An employee who is unable to make the necessary arrangements for the employee’s medical appointments with a physician, dentist or a medical laboratory outside of scheduled work time, shall be granted time off with pay. The paid time off shall not exceed sixteen hours.

               (b)     Full-time Employees shall earn medical leave credits at the rate of one and four tenths (1.4) hours per month to a maximum of two (2) days (i.e., sixteen (16) hours). Part time Employees shall earn medical leave credits, prorated based on paid hours. Casual employees and probationary employees are not eligible for medical leave. Upon successful completion of probation, eligible employees will be credited with medical leave credits earned during probation.

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