Contract Clause of the Month: April 2018


Term Position Paramedics

What is a Term Employee: Article 1 Definitions 1.01 (d) (iii)


Term Employee means a person who is hired to fill a vacancy and is regularly scheduled to work for a term in excess of 3 months but not more than 24 months


Who are Term Employees:


Casuals who apply, some Full timers/PT who wanted term (usually, Full-Time Employees who are granted a Term Position have to leave their Full-Time status) WCB, ST/LT are typically what end up being Term positions.

A casual who accepts a Term Position, while in ‘the’ term Position is considered a ‘Term Employee’.  They are Union Member and they pay Union Dues. Term Employees are subject to Trial Periods 20.08


WCB, ST/LT Vacancies are typically what end up being Term positions in the regular Employees absence.


How does the contract protect Term employees?


Terms and Job Posting:  Terms have a right to grieve postings they feel they should have been awarded.  If the grievance is valid and a violation of the Collective Agreement has occurred, they would be successful.

20.03 filling Positions for a Field Paramedic

20.03 (v)

(b) Term Employees are subject to the following:


Terms and the Positions They Fill


Do they own that position? Until the Term Position ends the Term works the scheduled hours.


What can they do in that position CA wise? They have all of the rights of ‘the’ Collective Agreement that apply; and, they can vote ion certain union matters etc.

What they can’t do in that Position CA wise?  They cannot, as an example, as a short-time Term Employee applies for a Job Share.


Lateral transfers Terms cannot post internally and be accepted for an FT or Permanent PT lateral (internal) transfer to a position until after the position is posted to FT and regular PT Employees who have had an opportunity to express an interest (unless a Term has more seniority)

Example:  a Term with 9 months in the term or concurrent Term spots has more seniority than an FT Employee with only 8 months.


Term:  Vacations:  Vacation time is accrued in the previous vacation year, so without having accrued time in the previous year, it does not apply to Terms.


What happens to Terms employees and the ending of their Terms? When a term Position ends, the person in it loses his/her seniority gained.  For 90 days following their last day they do not retain seniority; but, they retain preference for a new posting over a casual.


What happens when an LOA FT employee returns early?

Example: A FT Employee on an Education LOA ACP student fails and wants to return to there position.  If ‘the’ Term Employee was promised, in writing, any specific period of work. End Date), and the Employer attempts to remove ‘the’ Term Employee BEFORE that date, the Union position is; the issue is grievable and the Term Employee should not be removed.  In any case, if a Term has questions, he/she should call the RSS or Union Rep. (EMC may disagree with the Union position on this).



Terry Chapman





Contract Clause of the Month: January 2018

By Sean Smeaton: North Regional Steward

Its that time of the year again to make your Seniority Vacation Request. To help understand the process of Seniority Vacation I have included a brief summary of the Articles and Memo regarding how Pre February first Seniority Vacation Request work. Also see Links below for more information.

Seniority Vacation is base on your Seniority Date. Not ALS/BLS 30.04 b

No more the 2 weeks of vacation at one time  until other Employees have had and opportunity to be scheduled there 2 weeks (30.04 b i)

After February failure to submit vacation preferences shall lose any preferred status to other employees who made Pre February 1 request.  (30.04 b i)

After March 1 All vacation are first come first serve. (30.04 b ii)

Once a Seniority Vacation Request is approved, it cannot be retracted. (Vacation Process Review Agreement – August 28, 2009)

Vacation requests by February 1st that are approved must be posted by the end of the 1st week in March.  (Vacation Process Review Agreement – August 28, 2009)

Bidding Begins Dec 15 and ends Feb 1 (see Charbel Daniel Memo: Seniority Vacation (IUOE) Process –

Any question please contact your Shop Steward or Regional Shop Steward.




30.03 Vacation Requests

Employees who wish to exercise their seniority rights for vacation scheduling shall submit their preferred vacation requests for the following vacation year, in writing, to the Supervisor by February 1. The Employer shall make all reasonable efforts to post the vacation schedule by the end of the first full week in March.

30.04 Vacation Scheduling

The Employer shall make reasonable efforts to accommodate an Employee’s request for vacation. The following procedure shall be used in scheduling vacations for Employees:

  1. Vacations shall be scheduled by site. For this purpose Halifax-Dartmouth-Bedford-Sackville shall be considered one (1) site.

(b) Subject to operational requirements (not ALS/BLS) preference for vacation at each site shall be on the basis of seniority, provided however:

(i) an Employee shall not have preference based on seniority for more than two (2) weeks of vacation until other Employees have had an opportunity to be scheduled for up to two (2) weeks;

(ii) an Employee who fails to submit his/her vacation preference by February 1 shall lose any preferred status to other Employees who have indicated their preference before that date. Vacation requests received after March 1 shall be considered on a first come first serve basis;

(c) Employees will normally be required to take their vacation in blocks equivalent to the normal work cycle (for example, one (1) full week), provided however, Employees may split their vacation periods into smaller increments (but no smaller than a full shift) with the approval of the Employer.

Vacation MOU – Signed 2009


Seniority vacation process


 Contract Clause of the Month: November  

By Terry Chapman IUOE local 727 Business Manager 


Article for Nov. Call-Ins / Dropped Ambulances.

28.02 Filling Open Ambulance Shifts

(a) In the application of 28.08 (d), (e) and (f) part time Employees will be
given an opportunity to increase their hours up to 84 hours in a pay

(b) The Employer shall offer extra shifts on a voluntary basis to Employees
in accordance with the call-in system set out in Article 28.08. The
Employer shall offer shifts (for those openings due to vacation, sick
time, STD, WCB, etc. or vacancies which are not eligible for a term
position for 3 – 24 months) to qualified Employees outside of the
bargaining unit at straight time rates as long as the assigned hours to
any non-bargaining unit Employee does not exceed forty-eight (48)
hours in any week. Shift overruns shall not count towards this 48-hour

(c) If the Employer is still unable to fill shifts and wishes to do so, then the
Employer shall offer the shifts to Employees in accordance with the callin
system set out in Article 28.08 at premium rates, that is time and onehalf
(1½ x) the regular rate.

In 28.02 a) above, 28.02 b) is impacted in that EMC has to call PT first: PT Employees will be given
an opportunity before casuals until they are at 84 hours and after a PT employee has reached 84
hours in a pay period, he/she will go into the mix with the FT Employees re call out for OT shifts.

In 28.02 c) …… EMC does not have to call out to FT/Bargaining Unit employees after attempting to fill it
with PT and Casuals, if, in their opinion that ambulance can be dropped. The Employer is responsible for
maintaining minimums as may be set out in performance based contracts between them and NS DOH.
Once EMC has made an unsuccessful attempt to fill the open shift with PT and then Casuals, they
can decide to not fill the vacancy and not call it out to FT and Term Employees (“ …. and wishes
to do so, “).

EMC can take a lone crew member and move him/her to another site where there is another lone
crew member to pair-up with. This means that an ambulance may be dropped; but the Union has
no jurisdiction to order EMC to not drop it. (The Union has told the media “a serious situation
including a death is more likely to occur when ambulances are not available…. it’s just a matter of time”.

NOTE: The Union cannot say someone ‘will’ die until it actually happens. (EMC can take you from your
site to another for the shift duration and not have to give you 60 days notice .. see Article 20.06
‘Reassignments’ in the CA).

If there is no other crew person to pair a lone member up with, it is the Unions position that EMC
has to make an attempt via a call-in to FT Employees to fill that seat before an ambulance is left

It is the Unions position that IF a crew person is alone in an ambulance due to no available staff
after EMC has made a proper attempt to replace the absent crew member, the lone person is not
to be used on a call unless it is absolutely necessary.

This Months Contract Clause was authored by:

Terry Chapman

Business Manager,
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 727
PO Box 38013 Dartmouth,
N.S B3B 1X2
(902) 481-0523 Office
(902) 481-0531 Facsimile



Contract Clause of the Month: October 2017

By Michael Nickerson IUOE 727 Business Agent


17.05 Right to Have Steward Present

(a) When management meets with an Employee for the purposes of discipline the Employee (other than in the cases of where spontaneous discipline may be warranted), shall be provided with thirty-six (36) hours’ notice to allow for the presence of the Steward.

(b) Verbal warnings are not considered discipline and shall not form part of the Human Resources file. Employees shall not have the right to have a Steward present when issued a verbal warning.

So the first thing I always tell members is to ask (when they are made aware of a meeting) “can this meeting lead to discipline either now or in the future?” From there notify a shop steward immediately or as soon as possible of the date, location and time of the meeting with management. Also use the 36 hours notice clause above when speaking with your supervisor or management. That way union officials including staff or stewards can be made available for your meeting. Often we receive a call from the member the day of the meeting and we may or may not be available to attend. If we are unable to attend and a shop steward is unable to attend as long as you had 36 hours notice you cannot opt of attending the meeting.

Where the Union office staff are not available or the union staff considers that any Steward may attend such meetings and be witness to the issue, a member may not opt to make himself absent based on the fact that a ‘steward’ is the witness.


This Months Contract Clause was authored by:

Michael Nickerson

Business Agent,

Executive Board President & Political Action Committee Chair
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 727
(902) 539-2454 Facsimile