Explain This: As I look out my office window, see the piles of snow and the thermometer at -17, I can't help but think of summer and days spent by the pool. Listening to good music and spending time with friends in the great weather. It brings me to the topic of Annual Vacations. The articles can be found in your Collective Agreement on pages 48 to 50. Vacation is calculated on accumulated days as of April 30th of each year. So if you were a new member and started on September 1st of 2003, as of April 30th of 2004 you would have 10 days to take for your annual vacation in the up coming summer. The break down is as follows 1yr. to 7 yrs. You receive 15 working days. On your 7th year anniversary you start to accumulate days to reflect 20 working days for holidays. On your 17th anniversary you start to accumulate days that reflect 25 working days and upon reaching 24 years it is 30 working days vacation. The summer vacation period at A-Channel is from May 15th to October 15th. Every employee is entitled to take at least 3 weeks of their vacation during that time frame if they so wish. Now, vacation time off is based upon seniority and you may not receive the dates that you originally asked for. You can, however, apply for other dates and if no one more senior is off then you are entitled to have that time off. More junior employees are going to have a harder time to get time off during July and August but you are entitled to time off just as any employee and all of your 3 weeks if you so wish. They may be in late May and early June or late September and early October but you are still entitled to the time off. The company can not refuse to give them to you. Their job as managers is to work out a schedule that works for everyone. In other words manage the department. You may also take vacation time off outside of the standard vacation period, however this time must be agreed to by the company and they are to give you notice of whether you can be accommodated within one week of your request. If a statutory holiday falls within your vacation (13.6) you do have 2 options. You can either have a vacation day tacked onto the end of your time off or you can bank that day to be used later. Every employee is entitled to begin and end their vacation in conjunction with their days off (13.7). That means that if you wanted one week (Monday to Friday) off you are entitled to 9 days off in a row based on the 5 vacation days plus the Saturday and Sunday at the beginning and end of your vacation days off. The only exception to this although not written is that in the past employees that work a regular rotation start their holidays in conjunction with their days off but they could be in the middle of the week. We can not assume that your days off are automatically Saturday and Sunday. I think that it is quite obvious but Article 13.9 lets you and the company know, that upon termination of employment you shall receive payment for accrued vacation time as well any earned days not as yet taken. Article 13.11 is an interesting clause that has been used a few times in the past. It states that you may with the permission of the company take a leave without pay. This is not an uncommon clause in a lot of different Collective Agreements. Many teachers take civaticals from their employment to take other studies or broaden their horizons. A few members have used this clause in the past. The company unfortunately in the last 6 years has denied any requests. If you are fortunate enough to get the time off remember that you are to suffer no loss of seniority or benefits while gone. You have earned your vacation and time off so please use it. We all need the time away from work every now and then and after a time to recharge your batteries you will be more productive and generally a happier member.