As many of you are acutely aware, the Company has just reconciled the vacation year 2022-2023. We have received numerous emails from those members who were impacted. At a minimum, each member should be receiving a full breakdown of the amount owed prior to it being deducted. Given the fact that many members are impacted by the cost of living and their low wages it comes as a shock to have this money deducted from your pay with little or no notification or explanation.
We have been advised that Planning has directed payrolls to reimburse monies that have been noted as clawed back in error. We again remind you to reach out to planning for a breakdown and confirmation of the amounts taken to verify if there was an error, and if there was, confirmation you will be reimbursed. The Company will follow Article 5.14.03 which stipulates that: 5.14.03 Under payments on a pay cheque resulting from an error which are in excess of fifty dollars ($50.00) will be reimbursed on a separate cheque within fourteen (14) days of the Company receiving advice of such underpayment.
We recommend at this point, that impacted members reach out to the employer to get a full breakdown of what is owed and verify it is correct. The first step is to ask for a breakdown and then to determine if you, in fact had vacation that you were not entitled to.
Below you will find an explanation that should assist you in making that determination.
The most common reason for a salary repayment is for taking more vacation than you are entitled to take in a given year. Vacation is awarded with the assumption that you will be working full time for the entire vacation year, from May 1 to April 30. If you take a leave of absence or are otherwise absent from the payroll for more than 15 consecutive days, your vacation may be reduced. If you have vacation days that take place after your absence, Planning will usually just reduce your future vacation, e.g. vacation scheduled prior to the vacation year end on April 30. However, if you are absent from work after you have already taken your vacation days, then the Company will “claw back” the excess days through a salary repayment. CUPE is not involved in this vacation reconciliation process, and we do not receive notice about it. To find out the details of your situation, you will need to reach out to the Company. Once you receive the detailed explanation of why you are being clawed back, you can dispute with the Company why you think the dates are wrong. However, if you were indeed over paid vacation or wages, there will be a requirement to pay it back. Your local office can assist if you believe the dates / amounts are wrong. If the amount they are deducting monthly is excessive, you can ask to have the amount reduced. Given the impact of the cost of living and the low wages some of our members are receiving this may be required.
We have reached out to the employer today requesting a full stop to the withdraws, a full repayment on the errors and a review of each file that shows monies owing. This is the least they can do to get any of us to have any trust in a process that is continually met with tension and confusion by the membership. We have also instructed legal counsel to review the legislation carefully as this seems to be an ongoing issue that does not improve.
Please continue to reach out as needed, once you get your replies from planning, please ensure you review it for accuracy.