Vacation Scheduling and Blackout Periods

Dear members,

As we are planning our vacations for the upcoming reference year, please keep in mind the following:

As unionised employees, vacation scheduling is not at the whims and discretion of our supervisors. When multiple employees want the same time off and the department cannot accommodate, seniority is to be the deciding factor. It doesn’t go to the supervisor’s favourite, or to the person willing to work unpaid overtime. Seniority is used as an objective criteria to make a fair decision.

In order to have seniority as a consideration in your vacation request, you need to submit your requests for the next reference year (June 1st, 2024 – May 31st, 2025) by April 30th, 2024. They will be approved or denied by May 10th, 2024. This gives us time to address any problems.

Vacation can, of course, be requested after this period, but it will be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis rather than by seniority. It is also subject to operational needs.

In some departments, there may be times when they need everyone present.  This may be due to a special event, a deadline, or another short-term reason. These are called blackout periods. The Collective Agreement specifies that these must be kept to a minimum and must be communicated to the affected employees by March 1st, 2024, so they can be challenged if necessary and taken into consideration when submitting your requests.

If you feel that the blackout periods for your department are unreasonable, if they were not communicated to you by the deadline, or if other restrictions are being applied that are not in the Collective Agreement, contact and we can work with you to rectify the problem.

In solidarity,