Vacation Entitlements: What are the rules, anyways?

By Nancy Pridham


The collective agreement between CAMH and Local 500 governs our working conditions and allows the employees certain rights within the workplace, which might not normally be present or would not have been given to you by the employer if it were not for the Union.

VACATION ENTITLEMENTS are some of those items negotiated between the two parties at the bargaining table.  Vacation entitlements are earned, and FT employees earn vacation at a certain amount of time per month depending on how long you have been employed within CAMH.

The language regarding vacation entitlements is quite clear in the OPSEU Collective Agreement and allows for flexibility when a member is scheduling a vacation.  In some instances it may seem limiting, but it is not prohibitive and therefore the employer has latitude to give you more than the language in some instances.

One wonders why in fact a “prohibitive” approach is being taken by some managers only in some programs.  There is no language in the Collective Agreement stopping an employee from using their vacation entitlements,  nor does it state an employee must find a replacement if they want to take a vacation.  You can’t find it in the agreement; it is a phrase that some managers are using so they can save money on their budget, and not have to call in a replacement while you are taking a well-deserved break.

These managers do not seem to understand how important vacation is. It’ss necessary to enable folks to continue to do the good work of CAMH.  Everyone needs to take a break, particularly in this climate and environment, otherwise people will become ill, stressed and unable to do the job expected of them.

The other interesting catch phrase being used by some managers is “operational requirements” will not allow you to take a vacation.  Apparently the new CIS project is stopping entitlements in the Collective Agreement, and until the new CIS project goes “live” everyone must place their lives on hold.  This new catch phrase is not going to work either, as we all know that CIS training is only one day – not one week, or one month-but one day.  Move along.

The only people who might be impacted by this are those t working in IMG and who are directly responsible for the project moving forward – and even those employees are getting a vacation.

We know there are many fine managers at CAMH, who schedule vacation for employees, wish them a great time and look forward to their return.They don’t play games with their employees, or use vacation as a reward for employees they choose to.  

I often have the impression that some managers spend the weekend determining what you can remove from your employees when you arrive on Monday—while other managers are determining how to make the best situation for all the employees despite the internal chaos currently underway.

Again folks, you do not need to find a replacement for a scheduled vacation or a scheduled surgery.  Go ahead-book a vacation, you probably need one!





About opseulocal500

Union office Unit 1, B-2A, (Basement, room 2A), Queen Street West Site 1001 Queen Street West Toronto, ON M6J 1H4 Tel: 416 535-8501 x32330 Fax: 416-583-1254 Email:
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