Know your rights t
o sick leave
GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner assisted a union member who was experiencing a sick leave problem. Specifically, the employee put in for sick leave as a result of a brief illness only to be told that pay for the first day of sick leave might be withheld.
Several of GSU's collective agreements provide that pay for the first day of sick leave may be withheld at the employer's discretion. However, the employer's discretion to withhold the first day of pay is intended to apply to situations where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting abuse of sick leave.
Suspicion of sick leave abuse wasn't even remotely on the table in this situation and Wagner advised the employee accordingly. Further discussion resolved the misunderstanding and the employee was paid in full for the absence on sick leave.
"It always pay to check with your union representatives when interpreting your collective agreement rights," Wagner said. "Paid sick leave is a collectively bargained workplace right, not a gift from employers."
When there are problems in the workplace there are many factors to consider. A GSU staff rep has access to information and can help gather all the facts and identify whether your rights have been violated.
These services are provided to you as part of your union dues. There is no additional charge for assisting you.