Policy on Balancing Union Activity and Family Life

Effective Date – June 10, 2016

The Balancing Union and Family Life Policy developed by the Institute Committee of the same name and discussed at most Institute events last year was approved by the 2003 PIPSC AGM and became effective on January 1, 2004.

This policy has certain entitlements depending on the type of meeting that is being attended. The entitlements are not a reflection of the relative importance of the meetings but rather a recognition of the time spent in travel status and number of meetings involved.

For clarification purposes we thought we would put the following in a memo form that the Finance Section, organizers of events and affected members could use as a guideline for the new policy:

To that end the following should help clarify the new policies:

1. Preamble

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada understands and appreciates the dedication and commitment of its elected volunteers and stewards. It is a personal choice to become involved in union activities and individuals must ultimately be responsible for their level of commitment to the Institute. Recognizing the time and effort required to provide valuable service to the membership, the Institute, with this Policy, is facilitating the ability to balance union activities with family life. This Policy complements the measures that are already in place which encourage member participation in Institute activities. It is anticipated that by providing more flexibility to meet the needs of the majority of volunteers and stewards, and by creating a more family-friendly union environment, the Institute will expand its volunteer network in order to ensure a more equitable distribution of the workload.

2. Videoconferencing

Whenever feasible, members are encouraged to use videoconferencing equipment to conduct meetings.

3. Compensation for Meetings on Days of Rest

  • (a) Stewards and elected officials required to attend meetings or training on days of rest are entitled to reimbursement equivalent to the member’s normal workday, once annually, after having attended two such meetings on non-consecutive days. (Examples of meetings would be Regional Councils, Regional Stewards Councils, Committee meetings, training etc.)

Implementation Clarification:

This does not include Branch or Sub Group Executive Meetings or their AGM’s but does include the annual Sub Group Chair Meeting. Stewards who complete twelve (12) hours of on-line courses will be deemed to have used a day of rest for purposes of compensation for meetings on Days of Rest under the Policy on Balancing Union Activity and Family Life. Claims for this must include detail as to the meetings attended in the year as well as applicable proof of leave taken (authorized leave form of employer). The paid time off will be equivalent to a member’s normal workday. It would be helpful if any expense claims for the two named meetings have already been submitted.

(BOD - June 2016)

  • (b) When training or a scheduled meeting of a Group Executive, Group Executive Committee, Bargaining Teams, Consultation Teams, Regional Executive, Board of Directors Committee, the Board of Directors or Advisory Committee requires a member to give up two days of rest to attend and travel, the member will be entitled to reimbursement of a paid day of rest at the member’s regular rate of pay. In addition, members on bargaining teams who work in a continuous workplace will be compensated one day for each two consecutive days of rest given up for bargaining purposes.

(AGM 2012)

These days of rest cannot be accumulated and shall normally be taken within six (6) weeks of the meeting.

Implementation Clarification:

A member must be required to give up two days of rest to qualify. This means that the member cannot arrive at the meeting without leaving home prior to 7am of the meeting day and cannot arrive home by 8pm of the day of the meeting traveling in the most direct manner. A member traveling within the above-noted time periods but commuting more than 250 km round trip in a day would be entitled to accommodation the night before the meeting but not the night of the meeting. Finally, a member who would otherwise qualify under this policy who decides to stay the complimentary day in the meeting location will not be eligible for this day to be paid since the purpose of this day is to allow a time of rest after the travel.

(BOD – June 2016)

  • (c) Should a meeting or a day of travel to the meeting is designated on a paid statutory holiday, the member is entitled to reimbursement of a paid day of rest at the member's regular rate as compensation for the paid holiday. These days of rest cannot be accumulated. A leave without pay (LWOP) must be taken within six (6) weeks of the meeting in order to qualify for the UFLB 3 (c). However, every reasonable effort should be made to ensure that a meeting is not scheduled before or after a statutory holiday.

(AGM 2015)

4. Scheduling of Institute Constituent Body Meetings

  1. The Institute Annual General Meeting, Advisory Council, Steward Councils, Regional Councils and Group AGMs will normally continue to be held so as to minimize the cost of such meetings to the Institute.
  2. Training will normally continue to be held so as to minimize the cost to the Institute. however, family activities will be encouraged at training sessions.
  3. Regional Executives will continue to be permitted to meet the week day before their Regional Council and Regional Steward Council meetings. Regional Executives will be permitted to meet at a time of their choosing provided they remain within the approved budget calculated using Saturday Meetings.
  4. Group Executives will continue to be permitted to meet the week day before their Annual General Meetings. Group Executives will be permitted to meet at a time of their choosing provided they remain within the approved budget calculated using Saturday Meetings.
  5. Branch and Sub-Group Executive Meetings will normally continue to be held so as to minimize the cost of such meetings to the Institute.
  6. Branch and Sub-Group AGMs shall continue be held at noon time or in the evenings in order to permit maximum attendance.
  7. Efforts will continue to be made to ensure meetings are not scheduled so as to interfere with family observances such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, etc.

5. Family-Friendly Union Environment

  1. A member who requires accommodation the Friday of a Regional Council, Regional Steward Council, Group Annual General Meeting or the Institute Annual General Meeting and who is accompanied by his / her spouse or significant other and/or immediate family will be entitled to accommodation for the Saturday night for himself / herself and his / her spouse or significant other and/or family member.

    In such cases, the member shall be reimbursed per diem expenses for breakfast the next morning. Members choosing to stay over the second night will not be entitled to any other benefits under this Policy.( eg: Incidental allowance, lunch etc.)

    Implementation Clarification:

    The Saturday night will be available to Regional Council, Regional Steward Council, Group Annual General Meeting and Institute AGM delegates who live more than 16 km from the meeting location.

    (AGM 2009)

  2. The cost of accommodations for immediate family members who accompany an Institute member attending Institute functions shall be borne by the Institute.

    Implementation Clarification:

    The Institute will determine what accommodations are applicable and reimbursable.

  3. Social activities for family members at regional meetings, including training, may be organized by members of the Regional Executive or Training Committee. Costs associated with such activities, i.e. museum tours, etc. will normally be borne by the member. However, opportunities may arise where the Region wishes to host or subsidize the event therefore reducing or eliminating the cost to the member. To promote family activities, the Regional Executive or Training Committee may choose to hold the event at a conference centre/resort where recreational activities are available.
  4. Whenever possible or feasible, Institute activities shall be held in facilities where child care services are available. In the case of hotels, the Institute will seek agreement with the hotel for child care services to be made available to all members attending the event, regardless of whether the member is a registered guest at the hotel. It will be the member’s responsibility to avail themselves of these services. Where no agreement can be reached with the hotel, the member will be permitted to register at the hotel as a guest, whenever feasible. Child care expenses shall be borne by the Institute in accordance with Institute policy.
  5. When a member chooses to invite his or her spouse / significant other or child to the PIPSC AGM banquet, or the Regional Council or Regional Steward Council dinner, the cost of the spouse’s / significant other’s or child’s meal will be borne by the Institute. This benefit is non-transferable.

    Implementation Clarification:

    The Institute will be entitled to restrict numbers based on the space available in the facility.

  6. Institute Stewards receiving Regional Steward of the Year awards will be entitled to invite their spouse or significant other to the Institute’s Annual General Meeting, including the banquet. The costs associated with this invitation, i.e. travel, per diem, accommodation and child care expenses, shall be borne by the Institute.

    Implementation Clarification:

    The Institute will not reimburse salary or self employment earnings.