Living in Atlantic Canada, we are bound to get some inclement weather from time to time. Because of this, about half of NSUPE’s Locals have something in their collective agreement about inclement weather. However, there is a wide discrepancy around what NSUPE members can expect if a storm hits.
Some NSUPE members have the option to use vacation or a personal day if they do not feel safe travelling into work or have to care for children unable to attend school. While others have a clause that members will not lose pay if work is cancelled. Other Locals are expected to report to work despite the conditions because they work directly with individuals requiring care or need to assist with the clean-up from the storm.
Whether you have a specific clause that deals with inclement weather, a company policy, or an unwritten rule, it is important to be aware of your rights as an employee and a union member. Remember that while we cannot guarantee that Locals will be successful, trying to negotiate the addition of an inclement weather clause into a collective agreement is always an option during collective bargaining.
Now we just have to hope that we’ve seen the last of this season’s inclement weather, but, remember that inclement weather isn’t limited just to winter storms.