Monday, April 1, 2013

Do I still work here? contract confusion!

Well, it was probably the most bizarre employment situation I have ever seen. my contract expired yesterday and was not renewed or extended, yet I was also not notified that it wouldn't be extended or renewed.  Hence, I went into my office this morning not knowing whether or not I still worked there.

To make the story even more bizarre, my boss said she didn't know whether or not I still worked there either!  I made it quite clear that while I did not want to cause any trouble, I did not feel comfortable doing work or being in the building until I knew what the status was.

Unfortunately, union reps didn't seem to know either. I emailed two different NAPE union reps and got different answers from each one!  I called Department of Justice Human Resources and they indicated they would send someone down to meet with me and to 'sit tight' that's what I did.

When HR arrived, they presented me with a letter with today's date indicating that my 'temp assignment' had terminated immediately, but that I had bumping rights, as per union agreement, and that I had 10 calendar days notice to invoke said rights. the letter also stated that i was required to attend work on these 10 calendar days. a statement that conflicts with my understanding of the Federal Labour Laws, which specifically state that one is entitled to either two weeks notice prior to termination of contract, or two weeks pay in lieu of notice.

Bottom line, I don't want to be a goat here. I'd rather be a hero and leave on good terms. There is also lack of clarity with regards to the 'recall' provisions of the Collective Agreement. One could argue that while my temp assignment expired yesterday, I was deemed 'recalled to work' today, and for the duration of the next 10 days.

Furthermore, I don't want to get myself into a situation where it is perceived that I am being difficult, or that I do not want to work. Bottom line, there's 8 more business days of employment here, and it would not look good on me to turn that down. So I will indeed be reporting to work and will work my heart and soul out, as I always do, until April 10.

Whether I decide to pursue legal action against the employer and/or the NAPE union, is something I will definitely look into.

Meanwhile, as the confusion continued to unfold, I called into local radio station VOCM, to chat on Open Line, perhaps the provinces' best-known radio show, where I talked about my disappointment over the way employees have been treated here.

Honestly, this entire situation disgusts me.

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