The parties subscribe to the principles that lay-offs be avoided wherever possible, that any reduction in the work force be done with the least possible disruption, and that whenever a lay-off is necessary the most senior Employee be retained. They agree to meet whenever any reduction is anticipated with a view to furthering these principles and seeking alternatives to lay-offs.
26.01 Lay-off Defined
Lay-off will mean:
(a) A job abolition/elimination;
(b) (i) A reduction in the normal hours of work of a permanent, full-time Employee;
(ii) A reduction in hours of work of a part-time Employee as stipulated in her Letter of Appointment.
26.02 Discussion Of Implementation
In the event the Employer is contemplating lay-offs, the union shall be given notice as far as possible in advance of impending lay-offs. The Employer shall meet with the union a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days in advance of Employees receiving lay-off notices.
(a) The parties shall meet with a view to defining the appropriate work unit where initial notice(s) of lay-off will be issued (e.g. program, Regional Health Authority-wide);
(b) To achieve the least possible disruption, the parties will discuss alternatives to lay-offs, such as early retirement, voluntary reduction of hours etc.;
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Article, the Employer and the union, at any time can formulate special measures to modify the displacement procedures to minimize the impact of displacement or to deal with particular operational considerations;
(d) The union shall be provided with the number of F.T.E.s and classifications of Employees to be laid off as soon as that information is available.
(e) Union and Management shall meet to discuss changes to staffing assignments and current programs resulting from lay- offs.
When the Employer is effecting a lay-off of an Employee(s), the seniority list posted in accordance with Article 10.05 shall be up-dated and shall be subject to appeal by the Employees for a period of fourteen (14) calendar days from the date the list is posted. This revised seniority list shall be applied to the Employees in the administration of this lay-off article.
The up-dated seniority list shall include the Employees’ accumulated seniority up to and including the date the Employer notifies the union of pending lay-offs in accordance with Article 26.02 or another date mutually agreed to by Union and Management. This seniority cut-off date shall apply to each Employee affected by lay-offs, displacement and placement.
26.04 Senior Employees Retained
When the Employer considers it necessary to reduce staff, subject to qualifications, experience and capability, the most senior Employee(s) in each classification within the geographical boundaries of the Regional Health Authority shall be retained.
26.05 Notification Of Lay-off
Notice of lay-off shall be in accordance with The Saskatchewan Employment Act provided, however, that the minimum amount of notice shall be twenty-eight (28) calendar days. If the Employee laid off has not had the opportunity to work the notice period, the Employee shall be paid in lieu of work and seniority shall continue to accrue for the part of the notice period during which work was not made available. If regular duties are unavailable during the notice period the Employer may assign duties other than those normally connected with the classification in question provided it is bargaining unit work.
26.06 Seniority Pool
Employees initially laid off shall form a pool and be ranked in order of seniority. In order of seniority, Employees shall identify and exercise their preference for options described in Article 26.08. As more junior Employees are displaced, they are added to the pool and ranked in order of seniority.
26.07 Placement Into Vacant Position
A laid-off Employee may be placed, by mutual agreement between Union and Management, into a vacant position.
26.08 Discussion Of Options
(a) Employees laid off or displaced by other Employees who have been laid off shall have their options sufficiently and reasonably identified and explained in the presence of a Union Representative and shall, within seventy-two (72) hours of the explanation (exclusive of weekends and Public Holidays), except in extenuating circumstances, elect one of the following:
(i) to exercise seniority to displace another Employee in accordance with Article 26.09;
(ii) to be laid off and placed on a work resumption list in accordance with Article 26.10;
(iii) where there is a reduction in the Employee’s hours of work, to accept the reduced hours of work;
(iv) terminate employment from all Employers within the Regional Health Authority and accept severance in accordance with Article 26.11;
(v) to retire, if eligible.
If an Employee chooses option (i) or (iii) a new Letter of Appointment shall be issued. Additionally, if an Employee chooses option (i) she will meet with the Employer at the earliest possible opportunity. In order of seniority, in a private interview, each Employee will be provided reasonable and sufficient information regarding her bumping alternatives. Provided sufficient information has been given, the Employee will have seventy-two (72) hours (exclusive of weekends and Public Holidays) from the conclusion of the meeting to make her election. In extenuating circumstances this period shall be extended.
(b) Unless there are extenuating circumstances, Employees who do not elect one of the above options within either of the seventy-two (72) hour periods will be automatically laid off and placed on the work resumption list in accordance with Article 26.10.
(c) Every reasonable effort will be made to complete the displacement process for each Employee prior to her lay-off date.
(d) Every reasonable effort will be made to contact an Employee regarding employment options, however, in the event the Employer is unable to contact a laid off or displaced Employee, Union and Management shall meet to discuss a mutually agreeable resolution to the matter. If there is no mutual agreement, the Employer shall proceed with the lay- off procedure and place the Employee in an appropriate position. A mutually agreeable or Employer initiated placement will replace the Employee(s) bumping or displacement rights.
(e) The Union Representative shall be given time off and will not suffer any loss in regular pay when assisting Employees through the lay-off and bumping procedures. The Union Representative will not be compensated for other than scheduled time.
In the event a reduction in staff becomes necessary, as set out in Article 26.01, the Employee may maintain active employment if they possess:
(1) Seniority; and
(2) Minimum qualifications and experience required by the job description; and
(3) Capability to perform the work, subject to reasonable orientation during the trial period as set out in Article 26.12.
An Employee shall exercise her seniority by displacing the least senior Employee in her choice of either a full-time or part-time position within a workplace and classification within the geographic boundaries of the Regional Health Authority. The right to displace a less senior Employee shall include the right to displace an Employee in a higher rated classification, provided that there is no appropriate opportunity for a lateral move.
26.10 Work Resumption
Laid off Employees shall be subject to the following in respect to work resumption:
(a) Employees shall be counselled by the Employer in the presence of a Union Representative. Employees may choose any or all of the following work resumption options:
(i) Laid off Employees shall indicate, in writing, the positions including classification, full-time or part-time, and workplace for which they wish to be considered should a vacancy arise. Vacancies shall be filled in accordance with Article 21;
(ii) An Employee may change her selection at any time by notifying the Employer in writing;
(iii) An Employee on lay-off may elect to work in a casual capacity or temporary positions, without prejudicing her right to compete for vacancies.
(b) If a laid off Employee is successful in her application to a posted position in (i) above, she shall report for duty as specified in the Letter of Confirmation sent by registered mail to the Employee’s last known address. A copy of the Letter of Confirmation will be sent to the Union. Failure to accept the position within fourteen (14) calendar days of issuance of the Letter of Confirmation will automatically cancel the awarding of the position to the Employee. The Employee will then be subject to Article 10.04. The Employer would then award the position to the next most senior qualified applicant.
(c) Laid off Employees shall keep the Employer advised of their current address and telephone number.
(d) Total accumulated time on lay-off shall not exceed a period of three (3) years unless otherwise agreed.
(e) The Employer shall provide the Union with a list of H.S.A.S. Members on lay-off indicating their seniority. The list shall be updated and forwarded to the Union whenever changes occur.
(f) The Employer shall offer all casual and temporary work of less than six (6) months in the following manner:
(i) First consideration shall be given to qualified H.S.A.S. members on lay-off from the workplace where the work is required who have indicated an availability for this type of work and who have the ability to perform the work.
(ii) Second consideration shall be given to qualified H.S.A.S. members who are part-time or casual employed at the workplace where this type of work is required and who have the ability to perform the work.
(iii) Third consideration shall be given to qualified H.S.A.S. members on lay-off from other workplaces within the geographic boundaries of the Regional Health Authority who have indicated an availability for this type of work and who have the ability to perform the work.
26.11 Severance Pay
An Employee who is laid off and chooses to terminate employment as per Article 26.08 (a) (iv), will be entitled to receive severance pay in the amount of one week’s pay for each 1948.8 hours worked within the Regional Health Authority or for predecessor Employers.
26.12 Trial Period
Except as mutually agreed between the Employer and the union, Employees who assume a position through placement (Article 26.07) or displacement (Article 26.09) or work resumption (Article 26.10), shall be considered on trial as per Article 21.08. During this trial period, Employees shall be provided with orientation and such existing in-house training as required to fulfil their new duties. Where the existing in-house training program exceeds three (3) months, this trial period may be extended by mutual agreement. During this trial period the Employee may be returned to lay-off if not considered capable or may request same without further recourse to the bumping procedure.
26.13 Hourly Salary
(a) When an Employee resumes work after lay-off in the same classification as the position held prior to layoff, the Employee shall be paid at the step which was being paid at the time of lay-off, and the hours worked prior to lay-off will be credited towards the next increment date.
(b) When an Employee resumes work after lay-off in a different classification from the position held prior to lay-off, the Employee shall be paid in accordance with Articles 21.10, 21.11 or 21.12.
26.14 Sick And Vacation Credits
When an Employee resumes work from lay-off, the Employee will retain her accumulated sick leave credits, if any, and service toward calculation of vacation credits existing at time of lay-off.