What are Workload Agreements for?
They follow from a workload review by the employee and their supervisor that identifies that the employee has an excessive workload. The agreement can include changes to the assignment to reduce required working hours and/or extra compensation and/or time off. Discussions about workload could also lead to other solutions, such as the assignment of additional staff and resources to get the job done. The employee can seek help from their union representative to negotiate a workload agreement. Note that there is no need for a workload agreement if the review does not identify an excessive workload.
When should a Workload Review take place?
Every self-assigned employee should have at least one workload review each year with their manager to discuss assignments and expectations. In addition, a Workload Review may occur:
a) when an employee believes they have a workload problem that was not addressed in their initial meeting; or
b) when the expectations of the initial assignment significantly changes (this may occur at any time throughout the season) or
c) if there is a change in the assignment or the assigned employee (e.g. an employee replaces someone with a workload agreement).
What is the duration of a Workload Agreement?
The agreement should cover a maximum period of one year. It may be shorter if an employee comes into the assignment mid-year.
How is a Workload Agreement different from overtime, overtime buyouts and prepayments of overtime?
Self-assigned employees are not eligible for overtime, buyouts or prepayments. The workload agreement is the tool to address workloads that are deemed to be excessive by employees and managers.
Can’t the employee bank Time-Off In Lieu (TOIL) instead of negotiating a Workload Agreement?
No. Self-assigned employees are not entitled to bank lieu days. They are expected to have the ability to manage their work time and time off throughout the year. If extra hours of work are required to complete the assignment, this should be discussed as part of a workload review.
How does a hiatus period relate to all of this? The hiatus period is sometimes used by self-assigned employees to take their annual leave as well as time off to balance out the additional time they may have worked throughout the production season. If an employee plans to take compensatory time off during the hiatus, this should be negotiated in advance with their supervisor as part of a workload agreement. Two things to remember:
a) compensatory time should be calculated at time and a half; and
b) if an employee hasn’t negotiated compensatory time to cover the hiatus with their manager ahead of time, they should expect to be reassigned during that period.
What happens if an employee and their supervisor are not able to reach a workload agreement that is satisfactory to the employee?
The issue should be discussed with the local Human Resources representative and a union representative. If an agreement still cannot be reached, the matter will be referred to the National Joint Committee.