Covid-19 Update and Averaging of Hours Agreement

Read the full notification from Unifor National by clicking the link below



TO: BTS Locals and National Representatives

March 18, 2020 Brothers and Sisters,

On Monday, March 16th, 2020, Unifor was contacted by the Company to review their readiness planning with respect to the current COVID-19 situation that we are all facing. In addition to the review of the ongoing planning by the employer the issue of depleting manpower was raised. The concern raised by the Company was how they will deal with the loss of employees in light of the fact we are now having members around Ontario having to be placed under quarantine, as they return from their March break vacations. Also some employees are having to self-isolate due to exposure or potential exposure to the virus, in addition to those members who have chosen to stay home and not report to work.

Please be advised that following discussions with the Company regarding the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Union has entered into a new Averaging of Hours Agreement with our employer. The new agreement became effective Monday, March 16th, 2020 and will remain in place until May 6th, 2022 provided the parties are respectful of the Agreement.

It is important to understand that the presence of an Averaging of Hours Agreement in no way obligates any member to work beyond the CLC (Canada Labour Code) 48-hour per week limit. Should the need exist, this agreement will now permit those members who wish to do so, to exceed the weekly limit during the current COVID-19 Pandemic and beyond to the expiration of the current Collective Agreement. It is equally important for members to know that the agreement contains language that will protect members from being forced and/or pressured into working beyond 48 hours by their manager. The presence of an Averaging of Hours Agreement does not in any way permit the company to force any employee to work beyond the CLC 48-hour per week limit.

Rest assured, the company has indicated that it will continue to utilize all employees available to perform the work thru the use of regular hours.