Guild intervenes on improper scheduling

During the December 18 meeting, the Guild also brought to management’s attention a problem with the scheduling for a Guild member. This full-time employee, who works a five-day, 40-hour schedule in the newsroom, had been scheduled by his manager to work 40 hours over six days. The reason given was another employee was on vacation and the manager needed this person to work six days. In addition, the schedule hadn’t been posted until three days before the start of the work week.

We immediately contacted editor Dennis Ryerson. Management resolved the situation without the Guild having to file a grievance. They conceded that the contract calls for full-time employees to be scheduled to work 40 hours either with 5-day, 8-hour schedules or 4-day, 10-hour schedules. If an employee is needed to work on an additional day, overtime is paid. The contract does not allow the company to schedule your 40 hours over six days with no overtime because it is shorthanded.

While our contract has no provisions for the timely posting of work schedules, it does address other aspects of scheduling. It states “Days off shall be regular and consecutive, subject to change on two weeks’ notice or by mutual consent.” This means if your supervisor wants to change your days off, if you are told two weeks in advance the supervisor can do it. Less than two weeks’ notice and it is up to you whether you want to make the change. Clearly, the instance of the schedule being posted three days before the start of the work week with changes to the employee’s regular days off was a violation of our contract.

It also states “Hours of work shall be regular and shifts will not be changed except on one week’s notice, by mutual consent, or in instances of emergency.” This means if your supervisor wants to change the hours you work during your shift, if you are told one week in advance the supervisor can do it. Less than one week and it is up to you whether you want to make the change, except in an emergency. Someone else being on vacation hardly qualifies as an emergency. Again, the instance of the schedule being posted three days before the start of the work week with changes to the hours this employee was to work was a contract violation.

If you are having problems with your schedule being posted in a timely manner or if your days off or work hours are being changed on short notice, contact a Guild officer or steward.

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