Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
January 20, 2010

Lunch and Learn

Quick and convenient training sessions, known as “Lunch and Learns”, have been a mainstay of union training at the local level for many years. Tightly focused on current issues of concern, these lunchtime meetings keep members up to date and connected with their union. Recently, local 638 in Toronto held a session on the new leave provisions for medical appointments, a topic of interest to members across the country.

According to local 638 President Bruce Flannigan, “The new Directive on Leave and Special Working Relationships had left our members in some confusion as management keeps changing what is covered and what is not. One office is told it covers 5 appointments a year while another office is told it covers 10.”

In the lunch and learn session facilitated by Flannigan, members reviewed what could be considered as “…routine, periodic check-ups.” The new Directive uses these key terms to determine which absences are charged to sick leave and which are not:

2.2.3 Time off for personal medical and dental appointments

In the core public administration, it is the practice for the employer to grant paid time off, for up to half a day, for persons to attend their own personal medical and dental appointments without charge to their leave credits in cases of routine, periodic check-ups. When a series of continuing medical or dental appointments are necessary for treatment of a particular condition, persons with the delegated authority ensure that absences are to be charged to the person’s sick leave credits.

What emerged through the discussion of these terms was the need for the employer to apply the Directive on an individual basis. A broad-brush approach that set an arbitrary limit to leave for “routine, periodic check-ups” would not be appropriate.

“The response to the session was good,” said Flannigan. “Members were concerned about the new Directive and wanted to hear what their entitlement under it was.

A new “Lunch and Learn” group has been set on CEIU’s Member Network to help other locals run lunchtime sessions. To sign up for a login account, visit the CEIU Member Network.


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