MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT ON SUPPORTING EMPLOYEE WELLNESS
This Memorandum of Agreement is to give effect to the agreement reached between the Employer and the Bargaining Agent (hereinafter referred to as “the parties”) regarding issues of employee wellness. This MOA replaces the prior Employee Wellness MOA previously signed.
The parties have engaged in meaningful negotiations and co-development of comprehensive EWSP language and program design to capture the key features and other recommendations agreed to by the technical committee and steering committee, which is reflected in the Plan Document agreed to by the parties on May 26, 2019.
The program and its principles focus on improving employee wellness and the reintegration of employees into the workplace after periods of leave due to illness or injury. The previous MOA identified the following key features:
- contained in collective agreements;
- benefits for up to 26 weeks (130 working days) with income support replacement at 100%;
- the annual allotment shall be 9 days of paid sick leave for illness or injury that falls outside of the parameters of the EWSP;
- 100% income replacement during the 3 day (working) qualification period when the employee’s claim is approved;
- qualifying chronic or episodic illnesses will be exempt of the waiting period;
- the qualification period will be waived in cases of hospitalization or recurrence of a prior illness or injury approved under EWSP within 30 days;
- employees are entitled to carry over a maximum of 3 days of unused sick leave credits remaining at the end of the fiscal year, for use in the following fiscal year;
- the accumulation of current sick leave credits will cease once the EWSP is implemented. Employees with banked sick leave in excess of 26 weeks, will be entitled to carry over those excess days to provide extended coverage at 100% income replacement prior to accessing LTD;
- travel time for diagnosis and treatment;
- internal case management and return to work services focused on supporting employees when ill or injured;
- an employee on EWSP will be considered to be on leave with pay;
- full costs of administering the EWSP to be borne by Employer;
- increase the quantum of family related leave by one (1) day.
The Plan Document approved on May 26, 2019 takes precedence over the principles, if there’s a difference in interpretation.
The parties agree to continue the work of the TBS/Bargaining Agent Employee Wellness Support Program (EWSP) Steering Committee, which will focus on finalizing a service delivery model for program implementation, including its governance, for the improvement of employee wellness and the reintegration of employees into the workplace after periods of leave due to illness or injury.
As required, the Steering Committee will direct a sub-committee to make recommendations on the overall implementation, service delivery and governance issues of the Program. As a first priority, the Steering Committee will develop a planning framework with timelines to guide work toward the timely implementation of the new EWSP. A governance model will be developed taking in to account there will be only one (1) EWSP.
The Steering Committee will complete the necessary work on overall implementation, including service delivery and governance issues no later than March 21, 2020, a date which can be moved based on mutual agreement of the parties.
If accepted by the Steering Committee, the recommendation(s) concerning program implementation, including service delivery and governance, as well as the proposal for the EWSP itself, approval will be sought on these elements from the Treasury Board of Canada and by the bargaining units.
If approved by both parties, the parties mutually consent to re-open the collective agreement to vary the agreement only insofar as to include the EWSP wording, and include consequential changes. No further items are to be varied through this reopener – the sole purpose will be EWSP-related modifications. The EWSP Program would be included in the relevant collective agreements only as a reopener.
Should the parties not be able to reach agreement on EWSP, the existing sick leave provisions, as currently stipulated in collective agreements, will remain in force.
For greater certainty, this MoA forms part of the collective agreement.