“Partners in Wellness – Attendance Support Program”
SD #33 Attendance Management Program
If you are an avid reader of the Connect 33, you will already know that the employer has initiated an Attendance Management Program, “Partners In Wellness – Attendance Support Program” (PiW – ASP).
Every school district in the province has been mandated – and funded – to implement an Attendance Management Program to address the costs associated with teacher absenteeism. CUPE Education Support Staff throughout the province have long been part of an excellent wellness support plan, the Joint Early Intervention Service (JEIS), administered through our Public Employee Benefits Trust (PEBT).
While an Attendance Management Program has been mandated provincially to address the cost of teacher absenteeism, programs have been implemented by some districts, including ours, for CUPE members as well.
The employer has named this their “Partners in Wellness” Attendance “Support” Program. CUPE is not a partner in this program nor do we support this program. CUPE has been clear to the employer both at the local level and at the provincial level that we already participate in a well functioning attendance support program and are not interested in the redundancy of this program for CUPE staff, and have serious concerns about the possibly punitive results of this new program.
Participation in the PiW – ASP
This program begins January 2018. Employee participation is not optional.
The SD #33 Human Resources Department will look at employee attendance data each quarter (4 times per year) and assess those employees with the highest percentage of absences within each cohort. Then Principals/Managers will discuss attendance concerns with those members. The Principal/Manager will have a second conversation with the member in the following 6 to 8 weeks. The member may also be brought into the School Board Office to meet with HR Managers to discuss their attendance.
Discipline & Termination for Absenteeism
Excessive absenteeism, even non-culpable or innocent absenteeism (absences that are a result of situations outside of our control) can lead to discipline or even termination of employment.
The employer states the PiW – ASP is not a disciplinary program. Your union intends to hold the employer to this statement.
Concerned about your attendance history?
Life happens and sometimes things both within our control and beyond our control may cause us to be away from work. When our absenteeism is excessive, it impacts our workplaces, our colleagues, our families and ourselves. There are supports in place to help us have successful attendance at work. If you are concerned about how your absences might effect you or your employment:
- Call your union representatives. They can help you access supports and help you develop a strategy to ensure your attendance doesn’t affect your employment. You can also email the CUPE 411 Health, Wellness and Safety Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
- See a doctor. If repeated illnesses or physical or mental concerns are affecting your attendance, there may be something more serious going on and it is important you care for your health. A short-term or long-term medical leave may help you to get truly well.
- Call our EFAP provider. Personal issues, addiction, and stress can impact our wellness and attendance at work. If you are struggling in any way, there are excellent resources available to you just a phone call away. This completely confidential service is available by calling 1-800-667-0993, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
Exceptions to the PiW – ASP
Approved leaves for illness/injury or non-illness related reasons are not included in the program.
Examples of illness/injury related absences that fall outside of the parameters of the PiW – ASP include:
- Medical Leave
- WorkSafe Claims
- Bereavement Leave
- Maternity/Parental Leave
When to call your union…
Be sure to call your union representatives for support if:
- You are concerned that your attendance history will lead to an Attendance Management Meeting with your supervisor
- You have been requested to attend an Attendance Management Meeting, either with your supervisor or the HR Department and you wish to have a union representative present
- You have been denied union representation at an Attendance Management Meeting by the employer
- You have been requested to attend an Attendance Management Meeting, but your absences fall outside of the parameters of the PiW – ASP (see the list above).
- You have been disciplined or terminated – or threatened to be disciplined or terminated – due to absenteeism.
What about our JEIS program?
Our Joint Early Intervention Service is still active. Continue to report to cupe_six on your 6th day of absence and work with your union JEIS representatives to support your safe return to work.
Please click the HERE for more information on our JEIS program.