To: TEAM-IFPTE Local 161 Members
From: TEAM Office
Date: May 15, 2020
Re: New and Noteworthy
- Retirement and Financial Planning seminars: To better understand members’ interests in retirement and financial planning, and tailor the upcoming sessions accordingly, we ask that you please complete a very brief survey of the various topics under consideration. The survey is confidential and the responses go directly to Darryl Robinson, the architect and presenter of the seminars. Click here to participate in the survey. Thank you.
- Working from home during the pandemic: A number of members have asked if they will be able to claim Home Office expenses when they complete their 2020 taxes. At this point the answer is uncertain. TEAM’s accountants said that depending on how long this situation continues, it is going to be a problem the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will have to address, and provided further reading on the CRA website. The Financial Post did a story on this very question “Can you deduct home-office expenses if you're forced to work from home..”. It’s not inconceivable that the CRA will implement a simplified method of claiming Home Office expenses by early next year. Regardless, TEAM will monitor the situation and discuss the matter with the Company nearer the time.
- Overtime, shift changes, and the “4-hour rule”: In our memo of March 2nd we explained how the Company is initiating shift changes for members in IS and NS. The Company claims that the shift changes are intended to improve employees' work-life balance, but for most members, shift changes are extremely disruptive to their lives, resulting in the upheaval of personal and family schedules, messed up sleep patterns, appointment conflicts, child care issues, etc.
When planned work which has to be done outside of normal work hours can be completed in four hours or less, it does not make sense to members or TEAM why the Company would opt to initiate multiple shift changes, (as the first shift change creates a domino effect requiring either an additional shift or a schedule change), instead of continuing the practice of allowing members to perform this work as OT. TEAM's investigation into the matter has found that, in most cases, shift changes still require the Company to pay OT rates, which can result in the shift changes actually costing more than if the work had been performed as regular OT, as it had been before this recent change.
Also, during our investigation we came across an agreement reached between TEAM and the Company in 2000, whereby shift changes would not be implemented unless the planned work outside the normal work day would take longer than four hours. Members wishing to know more about the mechanics and corresponding entitlements of shift and schedule changes, as well as this "4-hour rule" can read our comprehensive memo on the topic here, and please do not hesitate to contact us should you have questions, especially where a shift change is implemented for four hours or less of planned worked outside the normal work day.
TEAM-IFPTE Local 161
204-984-9470 or 1-877-984-9470