UNA has had a long standing policy (Funding 19):
Members doing authorized UNA business should suffer no loss of wages because of time spent on UNA business. UNA believes in the necessity of Members having their designated days of rest off and believes that no one should exceed the equivalent of full-time employment hours. When due to necessity, a Member of UNA does UNA business on a designated day of rest, the member has the option of taking an LOA on an alternate day when possible. It is recommended that nurses holding full-time positions take alternate LOAs.
For many years, members would take unpaid LOAs from the Employer and UNA would provide Salary Replacement. Recently, the Provincial Agreement and some other agreements have been amended to include a provision that Union LOAs will be with pay, and UNA will reimburse the Employer.
This document is intended to assist UNA members with issues regarding Union LOAs.
1. What is Salary Continuance?
Salary Continuance is a UNA term for a Union LOA, for which the employer pays you directly and invoices
UNA to recover their costs.
2. What is Salary Replacement?
Salary Replacement is remuneration available to compensate for time spent on UNA funded activities, generally for days on which a paid Union LOA is not required or available from your employer, and as approved by UNA.
3. What will I be paid?
You will be paid your basic rate of pay for the number of hours authorized for payment by UNA. Basic rate of pay is determined by the step you are on of your collective agreement’s salary appendix, plus applicable education allowance(s). Unless an extended hours LOA is required from your employer, reimbursement is generally limited to a maximum of 7.75 hours per day.
4. Are all Union LOA’s the same?
No, there may be employer paid or unpaid Union LOA’s, in addition to salary continuance.
Paid Union LOAs are for UNA funded activites. Authorization must be requested from UNA prior to obtaining the LOA from your employer. You will receive payment directly from your employer for these LOAs. The employer will then invoice UNA to recover their costs. If your employer is not party to a collective agreement with paid Union LOA provisions, you may receive unpaid Union LOAs to allow you to perform UNA funded activites. In this case you would submit an expense claim to UNA for the hours as authorized by UNA for payment.
In addition, some Collective Agreements have provisions which require the employer to pay for attendance at identified meetings to provide union representation (eg: Professional Responsibility Committee, Occupational Health and Safety Committee). These do not require LOAs. The employer should not invoice UNA to recoup their costs and as such there is no need to request an LOA authorization from UNA.
5. What benefit does taking Union LOA’s have for me?
Prior to this provision being negotiated into most Collective Agreements, UNA members who took a leave of
absence may have had issues with their accruals with sick and vacation time, including potential interruptions with benefit plans such as Short-Term and Long-Term Disability. As well, members were not immediately contributing to their employer’s LAPP or RSP’s when they took union leave. Often, members were presented with a buy-back document that did not include the Employer’s portion of the contribution.
This is intended to ensure that there is no interruption of service for any of our membership as benefit plans, accruals, LAPP and RSP contributions will continue through a member’s Employer.
6. What is the process to request a union leave for salary Continuance?
A member will need to enter a request for an LOA Authorization form from UNA in DMS. Once the approval
is obtained, a PDF form is sent to the member’s UNA email account. The member takes this form to their employer for approval of the LOA request. Once the member receives approval, they must go back into DMS and mark the LOA as approved or denied. The employer will provide payment to you and invoice UNA.
Please visit our website for a video on how to submit your request for Salary Continuance: http://www.una.ab.ca/458/loa-requests
7. What if I attend a UNA funded event on a day I am not working for my Employer?
If you are not using an LOA, there is no change to the procedure. Members will enter the expense claim into the DMS.
8. Do I need to complete the Employer forms in addition to the DMS?
Yes, you will also need to complete whatever process the Employer has for granting LOAs.
Members who are on authorized Employer sick leave or in receipt of WCB, STDI or LTDI shall not receive salary replacement. Expenses shall be paid in accordance with UNA policy. If a member attends a provincial event on a designated day of rest, an alternate day of LOA may be taken. The alternate day of
LOA must be indicated on the expense claim form in order to receive payment. Payment will be received for the length of the alternate LOA taken.
(effective March 1, 2016)
Salary replacement shall be based on “Basic Rate of Pay” unless otherwise approved by Letters of
Understanding in a Collective Agreement, Local authorization or UNA policy.