Employer Entitled to Alter Vacation Times for Staff Shortage

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/06/2011

Denied their vacation requests in the face of staffing shortages, two nurses with at least 20 years’ experience grieved, arguing that the hospital was obliged to follow its past practice of permitting two full-time nurses and one part-time nurse to schedule vacations at the same time. Denying the nurses their requested vacation days despite past practice was unreasonable and a violation of the collective agreement, the union argued.

The union acknowledged that there was no specific language in the collective agreement concerning the practice; however, it took the view that given the long-standing nature of practice there was no need to codify it.