Let’s Talk About Union Leave

So what is union leave?

Union Leave is when NSUPE pays a member’s wages so that they can conduct union business. Your paycheque will look exactly the same however your employer will bill NSUPE for the time that you were not at work.

Members are eligible for union leave if they are scheduled for work at the same time that they are required to conduct union business.

Because union leave is paid by the union it must be approved by the union. Your employer will need to approve the request on their end, but they are considering the request based on operational requirements, not whether you are eligible for the leave. This means that your employer needs enough time to find another member to fill your shift.

What types of union business are eligible for union leave?

NSUPE members can request union leave from the union to attend Executive Council meetings, general meetings, to act as an advocate for another member, to attend union training, or to conduct union business.

Executive Council Members meet monthly on the second Thursday of the month. The only exception to this rule is in July and August when the Executive Council tends to pause for a summer break. With this in mind, all Executive Council Members are encouraged to request their union leave well in advance.

How do I request union leave?

If you are uncertain whether you qualify for union leave, please contact Melissa Morse at admin@nsupe.ca or your Business Agent to confirm that your request is eligible for union leave.

Next, submit your request to your employer. You do not need to specify why you require the leave or what you will be doing. Just specify when you need union leave and for how long.

Note: Some Locals have one Local Executive Member who handles union leave requests. Please ensure that you contact Melissa, your Business Agent, or a member of your Local Executive before proceeding if you are unsure about your Local’s processes. 

Union Leave Request from Manager Example:

I will require union leave on January 10, 2020, for my shift beginning at 8:30 am and ending at 4:30 pm. I will be available to work on my next scheduled shift.

When you receive a response from your employer, please forward the response to Melissa Morse at admin@nsupe.ca and include your reason for the request.

Union Leave Request to NSUPE Example:

My manager has approved my request for union leave on January 10, 2020. I would like to request union leave on this date to attend the Local Executive Training Program.

[Managers reply showing that you are approved for union leave on January 10, 2020]

[Your original email requesting the leave from your manager]

If you have any outstanding questions about union leave, please contact your Business Agent or member of your Local Executive. We also encourage you to read NSUPE’s Union Leave Policy