In June 2015, a review of the current BC Employment Standards Act by the SD 23 Finance Dept. determined that regular 10-month employees who worked at least 15 days prior to July 1 (statutory holiday) should be paid for that day. The formula for calculating eligibility for statutory holiday pay had been put into effect by BC Employment Standards several years ago, without the employer being notified.
The Union negotiated that the formula would be applied from July 1, 2015 forward. Otherwise, adjustments to Records of Employment (ROE) for previous years would have been required, and members would have had to repay any benefits to EI they had received for that day in the years following the change to eligibility requirements. Wages for July 1, 2015 were added to this year’s ROE at the normal June 2015 layoff time. An announcement of the Employment Standards Act regulation was placed on the CUPE website and remained on the site for 2 months.
Below is the language taken from the BC Employment Standards Act.
To be eligible for statutory holiday pay an employee must:
- Have been employed for 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday and,
- Have worked or earned wages on 15 of the 30 days immediately before the statutory holiday.
During September, the Union successfully negotiated Labour Day statutory holiday pay for 10-month clerical employees at schools, HRES and Operations, as well as Aboriginal Advocates who worked the full week of August 31 through September 4, 2015. This negotiation was successful because the Superintendent had announced in June that allocations that included statutory holiday pay had been dispersed to all sites. In future years, 10-month employees will not be paid for Labour Day unless they have worked at least 15 days in the previous 30 calendar days.
A further negotiations meeting was held in early October, this time with Good Friday and Easter Monday as the topic of discussion. Because these holidays are often consecutive with the two-week spring break, 10-month employees would not be eligible for stat holiday pay, as they would not have worked the minimum 15 days prior to the holidays (such as this school year). The Union bargained that the 15-day requirement be shortened to 10 days during years that Good Friday and Easter Monday are consecutive with spring break. This ensures that all 10-month employees will be paid for the holidays. This negotiation was successful due to the Union’s continued opposition to week two of spring break, and its negative impact on 10-month employees.
Impact of BC Labour Standards Act For 10-Month Employees
The Union was challenged with negotiating the best possible result for the majority of the bargaining unit. This resulted in over 400 members benefiting or experiencing no loss of pay. 35-40 members are negatively impacted.
- Well over 400 ten-month employees will now receive wages for the July 1 statutory holiday from July 1, 2015 forward.
- Aboriginal Advocates will receive wages for July 1, but not Labour Day.
- 10-month clerical staff will not be paid for Labour Day in future years unless they work at least 15 of 30 calendar days prior to the holiday.
- Article 26 (c ) of the Collective Agreement will continue to apply to temporary employees.