Am I reading this right...?

  1. 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.
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Sorry, but I disagree with you. Overtime is anything over 8 hours (or 12 depending on the place). A full workday is determined to be an entire shift. 4 hours is a half shift, even if that's all you're scheduled for.
  4. by   llg
    If you force the hospital to pay overtime for anything over 4 hours in that situation, they will eliminate the 4-hour possibility as a regularly scheduled "shift." Be careful what you wish for. If you win the argument, you will lose your current schedule.

    There may be a place somewhere else in the contract where a shift is defined as something that doesn't include that 4-hour stints that you work. It also may simply be a careless mistake made by the hospital in the contract approval process. But as I said, if you succeed in arguing it, you and your colleagues will lose in the long run because they will take that "shift" away.
  5. by   nancykday
    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 would talk with my union rep. Somewhere in the contract it should define what a work day is, but ou have a point if your customary workday is 4 hours, then you should bepaid OT. The problems with contracts, is that you have to cross reference other articles and sections. But look under hours of work and see if they define a workday as 8 hour and check the section on PT employees and if the contact cites the criteria for when PT employees earn OT.
    I also encourage you again to talk with your union rep and if you don't get a satisfactory answer, the union prez and then your union organizer. that is the best answer I can give you w/o having the contract to read.
    Good luck. BTW, management always reads the contract in their best interest.
  6. by   xptp29a
    I will dig further into the contract to see if a work day is defined, but I'm pretty sure it isn't. There are a few gray areas in the contract that can be interpreted different ways, this being one of them. Just needed some other points of view before I decide to pursue this any futher. Thanks for your thoughtful responses.
  7. by   nancykday
    Being on the past 2 negotiating commitees, I agree that they are very vague and sometimes confusing. They are open to various interprtations. This is why you should talk with your reps and organizer. Many articles are dependent on the intrpretation of several article and sometimes after multiple readings, they are as clear as mud. Once again, good luck.
  8. by   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.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Sep 18, '07
  9. by   loricatus
    "...an employee working in excess of the employee's scheduled workday..."
    This appears to be a statement that would include part time workers also; so, if you are working past your scheduled time, you should be given OT pay. But, what precedes the full statement you provided (which began with ..."Further, ...") is probably important, especially if it is under the heading of full time workers. If the paragraph is referring to F/T, then you are probably out of luck.
  10. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    To be concise, a phrase from one section of a contract is not sufficient to render an opinion. The contract must be taken in its entirety.

    I'm with some of the others. Regardless of what the contract says, I'd be careful about demanding 1.5 pay for working a 5-hr shift instead of your scheduled 4. The non-monetary cost may exceed the monetary benefit.
  11. by   widi96
    I actually agree with you. While getting paid over time for anything over four hours seems a little excessive, that does seem to be what it says in the contract. They can not say that it is for over 40 hrs- the contract says you do not ever work over 40 hours. I think you are interpretting it correctly.
  12. by   locolorenzo22
    I worked management in a LTC, and our union contract ALWAYS defined overtime as being over 40 hrs a week...or over 8.5 hrs for a FT member...PTers could NOT get overtime, as they were part time and usually no where anywhere close to a "full shift"...just my .02
  13. by   treysdaddy08
    Quote from TazziRN
    Sorry, but I disagree with you. Overtime is anything over 8 hours (or 12 depending on the place). A full workday is determined to be an entire shift. 4 hours is a half shift, even if that's all you're scheduled for.
    I must disagree. If you read the OPs post again, it doesn't say shift. It says scheduled shift. Her scheduled shift is 4 hours, thereby making anything over that OT. Also, I do believe that they might owe you back OT if they haven't paid it b4 and should have. You may want to look into that, as well.
  14. by   nuangel1
    i can't speak regarding your institution .i don't know your contract .but in my hospital overtime is anytime worked past 40 hrs or past your scheduled shift whether thats 8hrs or 12 .i am a 36/40 employee.i am scheduled to work 3 12's a week and get pd 40 at straight time.but if i stay beyond my 12 shift anything after 12 hrs is ot .meaning time an a 1/2 .but if i work an additional 4 hr shift then i get pd 40 hrs at regular time plus 4 hrs straight time .ie that 4 shift is pd at straight time.anything i work after 40 hrs is ot.we have mandatory ot also .so if i work 12 hrs i can only get mandated for 4 more hrs at time and 1/2 .

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