On June 7, SEIU-West held a virtual townhall to talk with SHA members about the Letter of Understanding (LOU) that changes our hours-based seniority system to a seniority date system. The difference is that all hours-based seniority will begin to be transferred to a seniority date.

Step 1 of this process began on June 6 when tracking hours based seniority ceased.   The last hours based seniority list (up to June 6 at midnight) and sorted by seniority hours, was posted today, June 17th, on Gateway Online and My Connection.  SEIU-West strongly recommends that all members review the seniority list as soon as it comes out.. If there are issues with your seniority number, contact the employer immediately to identify the corrections that need to be made. Also contact the Member Resource Center(MRC) for SEIU-West to let them know of your issue. (if you send an email to your employer about this, send a copy to [email protected])

All employees hired after June 6 will be ranked in seniority according to their date of hire.

The LOU regarding the change in the seniority system can be found in the SEIU-West collective agreements and in the electronic copy of the collective agreement on our website.

Here were some of the questions about seniority brought forward during our Townhall meeting:

  1. Does seniority date affect earned vacation for example I now have 4 weeks vacation does it possibly change the date of my next milestone of 5 years?
    • No it doesn’t. How you earn vacation is based on the number of years of service you have – not on your seniority. (Check out article 16.05)
  2. When is this list coming out and where do we find it?
    • The list was to be provided on June 6 – however there were some technical issues. We’ve been advised by SAHO – the bargaining agent for the SHA – that the list should be posted electronically on MyConnection and Gateway by July 17th.
  3. When you are PT and paid out STATs are those STATs assigned to a specific day that you aren't maxed out in hrs in the 4 week period? I know STATs give you 8 hrs seniority but OT does not.
    • in this example, if the employer schedules STAT days in a week where you do not have fulltime hours, you would earn the seniority on those scheduled STATs.
    • Seniority under the hours based system is maxed at 1948.8 hrs in a year for fulltime hours.
  4. Is there a list that has us in seniority order instead of alphabetical?
    • We have requested this from SAHO so that people can clearly track their seniority. SAHO has agreed to provide seniority lists ranked by seniority hours.
  5. Do staff need to check that are conversion is correct or is SEIU checking it?  This is definitely confusing or will be for many.
    • SEIU-West members need to check the seniority list now to ensure that their seniority is correct. If there is an issue, they need to identify it with the employer and copy that issue to the SEIU-West Member Resource Center. We have 60 days for this first review.
    • This is important because when the next seniority comes out in August, because it will have the converted seniority date (from your seniority hours) and it will be too late to correct your seniority hours number then.
  6. Who inputs the change of hours? Is it everyone’s workplace or the union or the SHA?
    • The SHA is putting in these changes.
  7. Can you post the formula you used?
    • You can find the formula on pg 251 of the new SEIU-West/SAHO agreement.
    • Seniority hours divided by 1948.8=Years of Service
    • Years of Service multiplied by 365 days per year = Number of days of Service
    • The agreed to cut off date (June 6, 2022) minus Number of Days of Service (counting days backwards from the cutoff date) = Converted Seniority Date
  8. 2 folks hired on same date. Both started PFT positions. Somehow over the years one has 30 ish more hours.
    • Should a PFT employee not automatically be topped up to 1948.8 hours at end of year?
    • Can they dispute that with this with the June 6 list?
      • In this example, members need to identify where there are errors in their seniority. You cannot protest another person’s seniority – only your own.
      • Re: automatically topped up to fulltime seniority – not necessarily. Article 9.05 d) sets out how, if you were earning seniority for a full year, how adjustments or top ups can be made to credit you with full time seniority hours.  If you were not at work for the full year, then it depends on what the circumstances are for the individual: were they on a leave of absence that impacted their seniority accumulation? Every member needs to follow up to ensure that their seniority is correct – if needed, they should provide proof of the error to their seniority.
      • Yes members can dispute their seniority on the June 6 list.
  9. If they are the same seniority hire day… is it birth year or month to determine who is above?
    • Same seniority day: (check article 9.02) the tie break will be date of the employee’s birthday (eg: July 1 would be before February 20). If a tie still exists: then the month of the birthday would be the time breaker (eg: Feb 1 would come before June 1).
  10. Will there be an extension of a week due to SAHO being late with the 1st list?
    • We will have 60 days to review the first list. And 60 days to review the second list. If there is a delay in SAHO providing the list – we will still have 60 days for the reviews.
  11. Where is the link to convert to seniority date?
    • There are several sites on the internet that provide a way to calculate a calendar date counting backward from a set date. The Union does not guarantee the results of these websites and believes the results should be used only for personal information.
  12. If you work in CUPE and SEIU, are those dates both taken into consideration or is this just a new SEIU list?
    • These list are ONLY for SEIU-West members in the SHA. And they are specific to the former regional health authority – not province wide.
  13. We are now converting to hire date in SEIU province wide? When will there will be a LOA to bridge SEIU an CUPE? There are a lot of us caught in the middle. A lot that have been told to keep CUPE seniority and hold onto it and forced to work CUPE hours since 2017 and therefore not able to work FT hours in SEIU during that time but are working FT in the SHA.
    • The ability to transition one union’s seniority to bid on positions in another union’s jurisdiction has been a topic of negotiations since before the SHA was created. SEIU-West, along with CUPE and SGEU, had put forward a number of proposals to address this – however SHA didn’t continue with those discussions.
    • We see this as a recruitment and retention issue across the whole healthcare system in the province and have continued to raise this as a way to address these concerns.
    • We are continuing to advance this but we do not have a date or timeframe for when we would be able to have a final LOU on that transition. It has stayed front of mind for us and will continue to be.
  14. What happens if you were off work due to SGI?
    • If you are off work for a disability under SGI or The Automobile Accident Insurance Act, you continue to accumulate seniority.
  15. There was a discussion at work about "lost" years - we don’t lose our actual hire date though right?
    • No, you don’t lose your actual hire date…this process simply converts your hours based seniority to a seniority date.

 

If members have any questions about the seniority date transition, contact the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 1-888-999-7348 Ext 2298 or via email at [email protected].

Thanks to everyone who joined the townhalls!

Respectfully,

Barbara Cape                                                                           

President

SEIU-West

 

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