Sick Leave and Leaves of Absence for Unit 3 members

Brad WalchukUncategorized

With the return to campus, we know that you are worried about your own safety, the safety of your families (and looking after them if needed), and the safety of your students. Public health guidelines are still recommending quarantining, which is an important way to help curb the transmission of COVID-19. But what does this mean from an employment perspective? What if you need to isolate? What if you or a loved one is sick? Look no further than your Collective Agreement.

Your Collective Agreement provides you with access to paid sick leave under Article 21.02. The specific language reads:

Employees shall be credited with 10 paid business days per appointment year, or a pro-rated portion equivalent thereof for any portion of an employee’s appointment that is less than 12 months and for employees holding partial appointments. Such days are to be utilized for absences due to personal illness or injury. When an employee utilizes such day(s) they must include such days on the weekly hours of work report given to their Department Administrator. There will be no carry-forward of sick days from one appointment year to the next and there will be no cash pay out of unused sick days. 

There are limitations on when you supervisor can ask you for a doctor’s note, and part of any cost must be paid by the employer. If you are asked to provide a sick note under any circumstance, please let us know.


Under Article 22.02, you have access to a broader general leave. It states:

……the parties understand that there may be circumstances in which a PDF requires a leave of absence for; professional development, union convention/seminars, personal reasons or to attend to familial obligations. Subject to the approval of the employment supervisor at their sole discretion, additional leaves of absence with, or without pay, may be granted. Prior to the leave commencing, the length of the leave and mechanism for making up the missed time, if any, will be agreed to between the PDF and supervisor in writing. Requests for such leave will not be unreasonably denied.


Finally, you are also entitled to paid family medical leave under Article 22.08 and 22.09, which reads:

An employee may take a leave of absence, without pay, to provide care or support to a seriously ill family member. Such leave shall be taken in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and arranged with their Supervisor. i. An employee will be entitled to Supplementary Compassionate Care Benefits for up to 8 weeks. 

For each week of leave up to the 8th week, inclusive, the University will pay 95% of regular salary, less the maximum amount of weekly pay any individual is eligible to receive in accordance with the EIA (the “EI Max”), regardless of whether or not such amount is actually received by the employee. If the employee provides proof that their EIA entitlement is less than the EI Max, their weekly payment from the University will be 95% of regular salary less the amount of their EIA entitlement  

Please note that under the ESA, family medical leave may be taken to provide care or support to certain family members and people who consider the employee to be like a family member in respect of whom a qualified health practitioner has issued a certificate indicating that they have a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks.

While certainly hope that none of these are needed, please be aware of them if you do need to use them, and know that we are here to support and advocate for you should there be an issue arising from needing to access any of the leaves.


Finally, you also have access to paid vacation time, which varies depending upon the length of your employment contract. Vacation time accrues on a monthly basis, and they can be used as soon as they are accrued (or can be banked and taken together over a longer period).

Your entitlement is based on the length of your appointment according to the following:

Less than 1 year- 1.25 days per month

1 or more years but less than 3 years- 1.67 days per month

3 or more years – 2.08 days per month

While you and your supervisor must make every effort to see that full vacation entitlement is taken during the period for which it was granted, please note that accrued and unused vacation time from the current entitlement year is payable upon the end of your appointment.