Am I reading this right...? - page 3

I've got some issues at work regarding overtime and I'd like to know what you think about it. My union contract states, "...Further, even though the total hours worked during a week may not... Read More

  1. by   rn/writer
    Quote from kanzi monkey
    It's not fair to suggest to the OP that she is "jeopardizing" anything--if she has identified a problem where people aren't getting compensated in accordance with their contract, it needs to be addressed--not ignored because she thinks that she might not get to keep a shift she likes.
    -Kan
    This isn't about being fair or unfair. We all have to count the cost of the decisions we make.

    I didn't say she would be wrong to pursue this. That's her choice, of course. The reality is that four-hour shifts are not common and that is something to take into consideration.

    As other posters have noted, even in places where you get time and a half after eight or twelve hours when those are your scheduled shifts, four hour shifts would normally be excluded.

    She needs to clarify the contract. What she does after that is her prerogative. But an informed decision takes many factors into account, one of them being that you can win the battle but still lose the war. Then again, you could also win both. The point is that a prudent person weighs all of the information before selecting a course of action.

    Which is moot if the passage in question doesn't apply to four-hour shifts.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Sep 18, '07
  2. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from rn/writer
    Overtime was designed to compensate employees who put in an extra long day (or week) and to make employers "count the cost" before asking them to do so. It doesn't seem unreasonable to have to work five hours instead of four. Most of the hospitals I'm aware of don't give time and a half after eight, but only after forty hours. Otherwise all the folks working twelve-hour shifts would qualify. And then to save money, the powers that be would be likely to switch back to eight-hour days, five days a week instead of the three twelves which many of my co-workers greatly prefer.

    I don't mean to sound critical, but I'd be happy the hospital offered 4-5 hours shifts in the first place. Be careful you don't jeopardize such a rare opportunity.
    I have to agree with this.

    Unions can control alot but the employer has the easy option of changing shifts to something that they find less costly unless contracted otherwise. And many of those changes may end up hurting the nursing staff more than just working 4.5 hours at straight time.

    I do know of facilities where "rules" stipulated that anything over 8 hours per day was to be paid at time and a half, regardless of whether total weekly hours exceeded 40.....they found 12 hour shifts quickly being phased out.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Much like in the auto industry, unions can do good but the regs can backfire with unintended consequences for the rank and file.
  3. by   cmo421
    Quote from xptp29a
    I've got some issues at work regarding overtime and I'd like to know what you think about it.

    My union contract states, "...Further, even though the total hours worked during a week may not exceed forty (40) an employee working in excess of the employee's scheduled workday shall be paid at the rate of time and one-half (1-1/2) for all excess time worked..."

    The part-time evening shifts in this hospital department are four hours long, but we often have to stay later to accomplish the tasks (five hours is typical). No person on evening shifts ever has over 20 hours per week, let alone 40 hours. I average 12 hours per week. We have never been paid over time when we stay past four hours.

    I had a meeting with my supervisor who thinks what the above union contract is saying only applies to those who are working 40 hour work weeks and 8 hour days. I don't agree and believe what is said in the contract applies to me.

    What do you think? I've already spoke with my union steward and they agree with me. Is the contract wording misleading? Just wanted some input.
    Ok, I will get hammered for this one. This is one of the biggest problems with unions. Micro managing work hours. I have been a union person for all of my career,but unions can go over board. OT pay is killing most hospitals today. A very needed policy, but too often taken advantage of. Four hours work,even if a "designated" shift, should not be eligable for OT. Come on,let's be fair now. How many professions can say they are afforded the flexable shifts we are? Let's keep this benifit,we do not have many!
    At the facility I work in now, the OT is really over extended. We have a union that gets us time and a half and also double time for some shifts. We do not have 4 hr shifts,unless you take call. When we take call for 4 hrs and get called in, it is at time and half,also receive call pay. If the four hrs call is attached to a shift(before or after) we get double time.
    We have come a long way and more then deserve the money we get and more. I am just saying that we should not bite the hand that feeds us, unless bitten first,,,lol
  4. by   agent66
    Quote from xptp29a
    I've got some issues at work regarding overtime and I'd like to know what you think about it.

    My union contract states, "...Further, even though the total hours worked during a week may not exceed forty (40) an employee working in excess of the employee's scheduled workday shall be paid at the rate of time and one-half (1-1/2) for all excess time worked..."

    The part-time evening shifts in this hospital department are four hours long, but we often have to stay later to accomplish the tasks (five hours is typical). No person on evening shifts ever has over 20 hours per week, let alone 40 hours. I average 12 hours per week. We have never been paid over time when we stay past four hours.

    I had a meeting with my supervisor who thinks what the above union contract is saying only applies to those who are working 40 hour work weeks and 8 hour days. I don't agree and believe what is said in the contract applies to me.

    What do you think? I've already spoke with my union steward and they agree with me. Is the contract wording misleading? Just wanted some input.


    I read it as ANY hours over your scheduled shift is OT, regardless of total hours worked in the week. Evening shift seems to be the worst for getting off on time , esp 4 hours. I put in for overtime for any time over the prescheduled shift, but being reasonable of course. Running my butt off and working is one thing but if it was quiet and suddenly busy last 30 minutes of shift then I do not. In our contract we are also entitled to a fifteen minute break in the 4 hour shift, which of course no one takes, so I take that into account as well when pondering signing in for the OT. I have already given them fifteen minutes for free, and if I stay 30 more minutes, then certainly yes I will sign in.
  5. by   YellowFinchFan
    Four Hour shifts you are scheduled for ?

    IMHO there is no way that you would get 1 1/2 time pay if you had to stay for five hours to get your work done.

    If there is such a place that pays that I'd like to know!
  6. by   xptp29a
    Wow, I really appreciate all the responses.

    I've contacted my union representative, who has met with management, but they didn't come to an agreement as to if this article in the contract applies to employees with four hour shifts. It's most likely going to greivance.

    My intention wasn't to make things worse for anyone in the department; only to be compensated fairly according to the contract. In all honesty, the four hour shifts in this department will most likley always be around. The department (dietary) is made up of mostly college students who work only in the evening. The management has always had a problem with keeping the department adequately staffed during thie evening, so I hear.

    Below I've provided the article regarding Hours of Work and Overtime from my union contract for those of you who want to see it in its original form. I got the information I posted originally from section (I), part 2. The parts listed as "Mercy" apply to me. Sorry for leaving this information out.

    Thanks again everyone.

    ###

    ARTICLE 10
    HOURS OF WORK AND OVERTIME

    (A)(1)
    WORKWEEK AND OVERTIME (Abbott, PEI, United only) -The regular pay period

    shall be eighty (80) hours. Eight (8) hours shall constitute a day's work to be completed

    within nine (9) consecutive hours. If an employee works in excess of eight (8) hours per

    day, or in excess of eighty (80) hours in a two-week pay period, overtime at the rate of

    one and one-half (1-1/2) times the employees regular straight-time hourly rate shall be

    paid for such hours. PTO hours and frozen sick leave hours shall be considered as hours
    of work for overtime purposes. An employee who works in excess of twelve (12)
    consecutive hours shall receive double time the employee's regular straight-time hourly
    rate for such excess hours.
    If an employee is scheduled to work more than seven (7) consecutive days, such
    scheduled days will be paid at time and one-half (1-1/2). After the schedule is posted, an
    employee may request to work more than seven (7) consecutive days. Said employee
    shall be paid at regular straight time pay unless the extra shift is in addition to eight (8)
    hours worked in a day or eighty (80) hours worked in a two-week pay period. The
    Employer and employee may mutually agree to a schedule of more than seven (7) days
    without overtime when it meets the mutual interests of both parties.
    If an employee volunteers to work on his/her scheduled day off, the employee will be
    paid at his/her regular rate of pay unless the extra shift is over eighty (80) hours in a twoweek
    pay period. If an employee is mandated to work on his or her day off, the employee
    will be paid at time and one-half (1-1/2).







    (A)(2) HOURS OF OVERTIME AND DAYS OFF – (Mercy only)

    Eight (8) hours shall constitute a day’s work to be completed within nine (9) consecutive

    hours. No employee shall work more than seven (7) consecutive days in a two-week
    period. If an employee is required to work in excess of eight (8) hours per day, or in
    excess of eighty (80) hours in a consecutive two-week period, or on any day scheduled as
    a day off for such employee, overtime at the rate of one and one-half (1 ) times the
    employee’s regular straight-time hourly rate shall be paid for such overtime hours. The
    preceding sentence notwithstanding, an employee required to work in excess of eight (8)
    consecutive hours will be paid at the rate of one and one half (1 ) times the regular rate
    of pay for the first four (4) hours of such overtime and will be paid double time (2x) for
    all overtime in excess of twelve (12) consecutive hours.
    PTO and frozen sick leave shall be considered as hours of work for overtime purposes.
    Employees may, with the approval of the Hospital and the employees, change their days
    off with other employees in the same classification.
    In any case where any employee is now working less than seven (7) consecutive days, no
    such employee shall be required to work more consecutive days than are now being
    worked by such employee, except upon payment of overtime at the rate of one and onehalf
    (1 ) times the straight time hourly rate of such employee for work performed on
    the sixth (6th) and/or seventh (7th) consecutive workday as the case may be, where such
    sixth and/or seventh consecutive workday is in excess of the number of consecutive
    workdays now worked by such employee. This provision shall not apply to any employee
    heretofore working a schedule including nonconsecutive days off who shall elect, under
    the terms as hereinafter provided, to work a schedule providing for consecutive days off.





    (B) SCHEDULING PATTERN - The general pattern of scheduling shall be such that all

    employees shall have at least two (2) Sundays off per calendar month, together with a day
    consecutive therewith, and two (2) consecutive days off during the alternate week. All
    employees shall have an absolute, unqualified right to elect to work pursuant to the
    general pattern of scheduling. Notwithstanding said right, an employee may, by mutual
    agreement with the Hospital, elect to work a scheduling pattern providing for
    nonconsecutive days off in the alternate week.
    Where employees elect to work pursuant to the general pattern of scheduling, the
    Hospital may schedule the Sundays off for such employee on the basis of either a
    Saturday-Sunday or a Sunday-Monday combination. Where employees elect to work
    pursuant to a scheduling pattern providing for nonconsecutive days off in the alternate
    week, such employees shall have two (2) weekends (Saturday and Sunday) off per
    calendar month.
    The scheduled workweek need not correspond to the calendar week, and the pattern of
    scheduling may be such that more or fewer than five (5) days of work are scheduled in one
    (1) week, provided that not more than ten (10) days of work are scheduled in any two
    (2) consecutive workweeks.
    The scheduling provisions contained herein shall not apply to part-time employees
    regularly scheduled to work forty-eight (48) hours or less in a two-week pay period.





    (C) POSTING OF SCHEDULES – The hospital shall post work schedules at least fourteen

    (14) calendar days in advance of the workweek.





    (D) SCHEDULING GUARANTEE - Where any department as a whole is now working

    less than seven (7) consecutive days, the work schedule of such department shall not be
    changed except by mutual agreement between the Hospital and the Union, except that
    this sentence shall not apply to employees required for surgical emergencies.





    (E) WORKWEEK SCHEDULES TO CONFORM NOTICES - Workweek schedules in

    conformity with this Agreement shall be furnished to the Union within fifteen (15) days
    of the execution of this Agreement. Any proposed workweek schedules shall likewise be
    in conformity with this Agreement and shall be furnished to the Union at least fifteen
    (15) days before the effective date of such proposed change.
    If within such fifteen (15) day period the Union shall file written objections to such
    proposed change with the Hospital, the effective date of such change shall be postponed
    pending the submission of the objections to a Board of Arbitration consisting of one (1)
    member selected by the Employer, one (1) member selected by the Union, and a third
    member selected by the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Such
    third member shall serve as impartial chairman. The decision or award by said arbitrators,
    or a majority of them, shall be final and binding upon the parties. Provided, however, that
    the decision of the Arbitration Board to be final and binding must be served in writing
    upon the parties within thirty (30) days of the originally proposed effective date of the
    schedule change; otherwise, said decision shall be a nullity and of no legal effect, and the
    Hospital shall have the right to effectuate said proposed workweek schedule. The expense
    of the Board of Arbitration shall be borne by the parties equally.





    (F) NO SPLIT SHIFTS - There shall be no split shifts; provided, however, the Union agrees

    it will make exceptions in this respect on the basis of individual hospital negotiations.
    Employees who agree to work with less than 12 hours between shifts due to hospital
    need, including open shifts and available extra hours, shall be paid premium double back
    pay at the rate of time and one half for the hours worked between the time of return and
    the end of the 12 hour period. This provision shall not apply due to employees trading
    hours or an employee initiated schedule change.





    (G) OVERTIME SCHEDULING - Employees shall not be required to take time off in lieu of

    overtime pay. To meet the above-scheduled hours, Sunday hours may be reduced. Work
    hours on Saturdays and Sundays shall not be increased by reason of anything contained in
    this Agreement.







    (H) SENIORITY PREFERENCE - In the establishment of workweek schedules, the Hospital

    shall give preference to employees in accordance with seniority as far as practicable and

    consistent with proper hospital management. Employees who have 20 calendar years of
    employment in the bargaining unit may have the opportunity for straight day shift and/or
    no weekend shifts when that becomes possible. The employee will submit a written
    request to his/her manager. When the opportunity to create such shifts occurs, the
    employee and the manager will confer to determine the feasibility and impact of the
    change on patient care, the work of the department, the effect on other employees, and
    whether to proceed with creating the opportunity. If more than one 20 year employee on
    the same unit submits a written request the opportunity will be offered according to
    seniority.





    (I) FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING - The Hospital and an individual employee may agree upon

    a pattern of work schedules providing for work in excess of eight (8) hours per day. Work
    schedules established pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be subject to the
    following conditions:
    1. An employee shall have an opportunity to review the alternate work schedule or
    schedules being considered prior to volunteering for flexible work schedules. The
    employee may limit agreement to specific types of flexible schedules. The
    Hospital shall retain written documentation that an employee has agreed to a
    flexible work schedule and of the type of flexible schedule to which the employee
    has agreed. An employee electing to work schedules under this Section may
    revoke such election by giving the Hospital written notice of six (6) weeks or a
    period of time equal to the length of time normally covered by the Hospital's
    posted schedule of work hours, whichever is less.
    2. The basic work period shall be forty (40) hours per week. An employee shall be
    paid time and one-half (1-1/2) for work in excess of forty (40) hours per week
    rather than the overtime provisions set forth in this Section. Further, even though
    the total hours worked during a week may not exceed forty (40) an employee
    working in excess of the employee's scheduled workday shall be paid at the rate
    of time and one-half (1-1/2) for all excess time so worked, except that hours in
    excess of twelve (12) consecutive hours in a workday be paid at the rate of double
    time.
    3. Evening shift differential shall be paid for all hours of the shift where 50% or
    more of the hours are worked after 3:00 p.m. and before 11:00 p.m. Night shift
    differential shall be paid for all hours of the shift where 50% or more of the hours
    are worked after 11:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m.





    (J)(1) EXTRA HOURS (Abbott, PEI, United only) - The Hospital shall post a sign-up sheet

    prior to the posting of the work schedule whereby employees may indicate availability
    for specific extra shifts within their classification. Extra shifts shall be granted on a
    seniority basis first to employees on a non-overtime basis and then to employees on an
    overtime basis. Extra shifts shall be granted as provided in this Section before using





    temporary employees of outside employment agencies. Individual hospitals shall meet

    with the Union to develop a policy that provides for the consistent application of this

    section.



    (J)(2)





    EXTRA HOURS (Mercy only) Schedules shall be posted with known holes up to six (6)
    weeks in advance to the start of the schedule. At the same time, an availability list will

    be posted for five (5) calendar days. On the sixth (6) day, the availability list will come

    down, the holes will be filled as outlined below and a new schedule will be posted.

    In order to be eligible for extra shifts and in order to exercise seniority rights,

    employees must sign the availability list.
    Availability lists will be posted in each department. Nursing availability lists will be
    posted in the staffing office, with the exception of Closed Units such as SARS, PACU,
    Ambulatory Care, etc., which will post their own lists in their units.
    Extra hours will be filled on the following basis from the availability list:
    1. Non-overtime, most senior employee in a classification,
    2. Overtime, most senior employee in a classification,
    3. Non-overtime, most senior qualified employee outside a classification,
    4. Overtime, most senior qualified employee outside a classification.
    After filling extra hours from the employees signed – up on the availability list, the
    Hospital will:
    5. Award extra hours to whomever else will work within that job classification,
    including those not scheduled to work that day or those who are scheduled to
    work later on a later shift. (Seniority might not be a determining factor in the
    number five (5.) because employees had the right to exercise their seniority
    rights by signing the availability lists as outlined in numbers 1-4 above.)
    There will be no more daily availability lists because same day holes as a result of sick
    calls, etc., will be filled via the availability list and process as referenced above. Same
    day calls to staffing personnel shall fall into number five (5) above and seniority might
    not be a determining factor in awarding extra hours because seniority rights can only
    be exercised by signing the availability list.
    (K) GIVE AWAY SHIFTS - Employees may give away shifts without using PTO time as
    follows:
    • An employee may give away four (4) shifts per year








    • An employee must have a work agreement of .5 FTE or greater

    • The give away shift shall not create overtime for the employee accepting to work
    the shift


    • An employee accepting the shift must be qualified within the classification



    • (Abbott, PEI, United only) An employee shall not give shifts to casual employees.



    (L) INCREASES AND DECREASES IN WORK AGREEMENT - If a regularly scheduled

    employee works above his/her work agreement for a minimum of six (6) consecutive

    months, the employee may request a change in his/her work agreement. (The hours

    worked above do not include unscheduled absences, PTO, leaves of absence, give away

    shifts, and hours from posted but unfilled positions). These hours will be posted and
    awarded by seniority. If the employee works below his/her work agreement for a six (6)
    month consecutive period of time, management may reduce the work agreement after
    evaluation and consultation with the employee. Low need days do not apply.





    (M) DOCTORS’ APPOINTMENTS - With management approval, the employee will be able





    to adjust his/her schedule to accommodate a doctors' appointment.
    ###
    Last edit by xptp29a on Sep 18, '07

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