CMBC – Split-Shifts
April 27, 2017
TO: All Depot Coordinators and Depot Workleaders at CMBC
Recently your union became aware of a practice of split-shifts being allowed in the depot. By “split-shifts” we mean a shift which is not continuous and have a period of non-work time in between two periods of work. Normally this is two four-hour periods of work time divided by a period of non-work time. The two periods of work could be at the same worksite, or at different locations.
Split-shifts are not contemplated by the collective agreement and, in fact, are in contravention of it. Clause 11.02 (b) described the work day as “Any consecutive seven and one-half (7 1/2) hours of work, exclusive of lunch period, in a calendar day.” A split-shift does not meet this definition. Furthermore, Clause 11.08 of the collective agreement stipulates an eight hours rest period between shifts: “The Employer will ensure that employees have an 8 hour rest break between shifts. If an employee is scheduled for regular work that does not permit an 8 hour rest break, the Employer will adjust the employee’s schedule so the employee has full shifts before and after an 8 hour rest break. This adjustment will be communicated to the employee as soon as possible after the Employer becomes aware of the need for the rest break.” It is true that a Casual employee may cover a piece of work, or an employee may take a piece of overtime, which is less than a full seven and one-half hour shift. However, in such cases the work must still be continuous, within the same calendar day, and there must be eight-hour rest between the shifts (or partial shifts).
Split-shifts have been discussed by the parties in the past. Your union has always taken a strong position in opposition to the implementation of split-shifts, which we see as detrimental to the work-life balance of our members. At a time when there is a trend towards precarious work and part-time or casual employment in our economy, we believe it is as important as ever to maintain this position and to reject any iteration of split-shifts, whether pre-scheduled or otherwise.
Your union has raised this issue with the employer, who has stated that they do not schedule split-shifts. However, they do allow Casual employees who accept two pieces of work in the same day which would constitute a split-shift. We are concerned that if left unchallenged this could lead to a further slide towards the implementation of split-shifts in the Depots or elsewhere. As a result, we are challenging the employer’s position that they are permitted to allow this type of scheduling. We encourage MoveUP members not to volunteer for split-shifts in the interim, and to notify your Job Steward if you become aware of any examples of split-shifts taking place.
Stephen Von Sychowski, Union Representative
Alicia Gallo, Vice President Combined Units