ANOTHER PROBLEM SOLVED: member’s question leads to a collective agreement interpretation, benefits other Local members

A member’s question ultimately led to a collective agreement interpretation which benefits other members of the Local.

In 2016 a Local 1 member working for Viterra contacted GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner with a question which brought to light a grey area in the collective agreement.

The member was inquiring whether travel to grader training was considered work time. In this particular instance the member traveled several hours on Sundays to attend grader training in Saskatoon.

Wagner raised the issue with Viterra management and subsequently submitted an executive grievance on behalf of the union seeking payment for travel time outside members’ normal hours of work. The grievance wound its way through the grievance procedure and was put on hold for quite some time at management’s request while they reviewed policies and procedures.

On May 12, 2017, settlement of the grievance was finally achieved and confirmed. The grievance settlement is as follows:

  1. When an employee is required to attend mandatory training, the time spent travelling to and from the training outside of her/his normal working hours will be considered work time and will be paid.
  2. When an employee attends training opportunities on her/his own volition the time spent traveling to and from such training outside her/his normal working hours will not be considered work time.

“Needless to say, a lot will depend on the circumstances and facts of any situation where a member is traveling to attend training outside normal working hours, and I encourage union members who are unsure about their particular situation to contact a GSU staff rep,” said GSU general secretary Wagner. “This grievance settlement provides a good framework for resolving problems and it came about thanks to one GSU member who contacted us with a question.” 

Do you have a question about a workplace issue or your collective agreement? Contact your GSU staff rep. Their services are provided to you as part of your union dues. There is no additional charge for assisting you.