Vacation Requests: What you should know

Publish date: Monday, January 08, 2018

Here are a few important things that you should know before meeting with your employer about your vacation requests.

As required by Article 2109 of the MNU collective agreement, vacation entitlement lists are to be posted by March 1st of each year and shall reflect each nurse’s projected vacation entitlement as at April 30th of that year (dates vary between facilities).

Each year, the employer must schedule an appointment so that you, the nurse may indicate your choice of vacation dates including any unpaid vacation that you may be requesting, in writing. Vacation is approved at your scheduling appointment and is not dependant on whether or not the employer has found relief for the vacation requests. It is not the nurses’ responsibility to agree to replace one another before the employer approves vacation.

Please remember that it is mandatory that you attend your vacation scheduling appointment, because this is the only opportunity you have to request vacation for the upcoming year. If you miss your appointment, you cannot use your seniority to select your vacation and your request for vacation will not be considered until the last person on the seniority list has had their vacation requests approved.

The nurse can choose to take only full paid vacation weeks. The nurse shall not be forced to take any unpaid vacation in order to be off for the entire vacation accrual. Unpaid vacation is booked at the same time as paid vacation and is granted on the basis of seniority. However, once you have requested unpaid vacation and it is approved there is no ability to cancel it later and work instead.

Vacation accrual during leave

A nurse who is on an approved leave of absence is entitled to all of the vacation accrual because employment is considered continuous. The nurse is still considered to be employed, even though she/he is not earning wages.

Nurses who return from leave are entitled to their full vacation time, but not full vacation pay. The time they are away on leave does count toward their years of service when determining how much vacation they are entitled to.

For example: A nurse who is on unpaid leave for six months during the vacation accrual year is entitled to all of the vacation accrual. If the nurse is earning vacation at the four week rate, they are entitled to two weeks of paid vacation and two weeks of unpaid vacation.

Recognition of length of service

Nurses who have completed 20 years of continuous service will receive an additional five days of paid vacation in recognition of their length of service. Furthermore, an additional five days will be earned on each subsequent fifth anniversary of employment (i.e. 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, etc.).

E.g. On your 20th anniversary you will receive an additional five vacation days. On your 21st anniversary, you will not receive an additional five days. You will receive an additional five days on your 30th anniversary.

This bonus week of vacation does not have to be earned. Even if you were on an unpaid leave of absence during the previous year, you are still entitled to this week of vacation. For part-time nurses, payment for this bonus week of vacation is based on the greater of your EFT or the amount of vacation pay calculated in accordance with Article 3404.

This bonus week of vacation can be scheduled any time during the vacation year in which it is awarded. It does not have to be taken specifically following your anniversary date. However, if you are on a leave of absence in the vacation year during which your bonus week occurs, you do not get it and it is not carried over into the next vacation year.

The bonus week of vacation must also be included in your projected vacation entitlement.

Nurses on disability

A nurse who is on D&R/WCB/MPI prior to the commencement of her/his vacation shall, upon the nurse’s request, have her/his vacation displaced and re-scheduled at a time mutually agreed between the nurse and the Employer, within the available time periods remaining during that vacation year. If a nurse does not request to displace the vacation it will be paid as originally scheduled.

If the nurse’s current annual vacation cannot be reasonably re-scheduled by the end of the current vacation year, the nurse may elect to carry over up to five days of current annual vacation to the next vacation year (pro-rated for part-time).

If a nurse chooses to carry their vacation over to the next year, the nurse will be allowed to select their vacation on the basis of seniority.

Mobility and Portability

Nurses who use the provisions of Mobility to transfer between Employers can carry their vacation banks with them or receive a payout. If a nurse chooses to have their vacation bank paid out at the time of transfer, they can still transfer unpaid vacation weeks to their new place of employment.

On the other hand, nurses who transfer to another Employer under the provisions of Portability will have their vacation banks paid out, and will only have unpaid vacation weeks to carry over.

Questions

Article 21, of the collective agreement, covers the topic of vacation scheduling in its entirety. For more information please see the Contract Interpretation Manual or contact your local/ worksite president to review the vacation scheduling procedure.

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