Saturday, February 23, 2013

Prime Time Vacations revisited

A month ago I had a meeting with management about "prime time" vacations.
I left the feeling good because we had come to an agreement. 
Or, so I thought.
I'm not sure how I could have misunderstood, but a any rate, we have no agreement and none is in sight.

The issue is when we can submit a request for summer vacations and Christmas time vacations.  The contract says submit in January for summer and July for winter. 
However, the negotiation notes clearly show that both sides intended for that to mean during January "or after January if available".
Not only does the dialogue at the negotiations show that the intent was that "prime time" vacation requests would be accepted after January..... but it just makes sense. 
Vacations are always subject to staffing ability and patient care needs, so if a person finds out in February that their California cousin is getting married in July, and if no one in their department is taking that week off.......then why wouldn't it be granted?

Anyway, we do not have agreement on this issue and it appears we cannot agree.
So, this week, we filed a grievance on it. It appears to be headed for arbitration, where an independent arbitrator will rule on it.
Please to not confuse this with our other arbitration case that is coming up soon.  It is also on vacations.  The issue there is that the hospital only allows you to request "partial week" vacations 4 weeks prior to the schedule period. 

In the case of "prime time" vacations, the hospital is saying it needs 6+ months to plan and in the case of "partial week" vacations, they are saying they don't want the request until 4 weeks prior.

I can't figure it out.  Maybe the arbitrator can.