Shift Scheduling




Shift Work

The first clause 25.13 lays out the basics, obviously the first two clauses only apply to contract shift workers but the next two even with VSSA’s, the scheduling 2 days of rest per week and at a time.  Pretty basic.

25.13 When, because of the operational requirements, hours of work are scheduled for employees on a rotating or irregular basis, they shall be scheduled so that employees, over a period of not more than fifty-six (56) calendar days:

(a) on a weekly basis, work an average of thirty-seven decimal five (37.5) hours and an average of five (5) days;

(b) work seven decimal five (7.5) consecutive hours per day, exclusive of a one-half (1/2) hour meal period;

(c) obtain an average of two (2) days of rest per week;

(d) obtain at least two (2) consecutive days of rest at any one time, except when days of rest are separated by a designated paid holiday which is not worked; the consecutive days of rest may be in separate calendar weeks.




This next clause 25.14 again the first part (a) applies to contract shift only but ties in with the (b) principal, that applies to both, of avoiding excessive fluctuation of hours is important.  This comes into play if management takes the existing VSSA and schedules many changes within a stretch of shifts from day shift to evenings back to days for example that would put undue hardship on the employee and that isn’t within the intent of the VSSA.  Also this clause is used to ensure that management doesn’t attempt to schedule employees for too many weekend shifts.  There needs to be a work life balance and moving the VSSA shifts around to accommodate traffic flow and shift coverage cannot be done excessively.



25.14 The Employer will make every reasonable effort:

(a) not to schedule the commencement of a shift within sixteen (16) hours of the completion of the employee's previous shift;


(b) to avoid excessive fluctuation in hours of work.




This next clause provides us the answer to who is responsible for the schedule, management likes to remind us of this but at the same time the other clauses provide the guidelines they must follow and we can call them on that.

25.15 The staffing, preparation, posting and administration of shift schedules is the responsibility of the Employer.




The following is important to know because if you want to know what your next schedule is then you know it has to be out at least 15 days ahead.   Most schedules have a reasonable rotation so that there is also a good possibility that you can plot ahead as well.

25.16 The Employer shall set up a master shift schedule for a fifty-six (56) day period, posted fifteen (15) days in advance, which will cover the normal requirements of the work area.


Meal periods are sometimes scheduled and other times not but as stated they should be at the mid shift point, this means if you miss your meal period when there would have been enough staff for you to take it management can re-schedule it to a point but not far away from your mid point.  In other words they can’t have it both ways, for example the meal you would claim if you were at a port other than your home port would always be a lunch only since your meal is always at the mid-shift point whether it is 1800 on an evening shift or 0300 on a midnight shift.

25.18 A specified meal period shall be scheduled as close to the mid-point of the shift as possible. It is also recognized that the meal period may be staggered for employees on continuous operations. However, the Employer will make every effort to arrange meal periods at times convenient to the employees.


Management can change your shift with or without short notice.  However if they don’t provide at least 7 days (ex. Tuesday –Tuesday) then they must pay you as per below, 1.5x for the first 7.5hrs then 2x after that.  You can refuse the shift change if you wish and management may accept that given good reason but they don’t have to because then they refer to 25.15 Management’s right to schedule.  Make sure you indicate on your timesheet, short shift change so that it gets coded properly and you get paid properly!


(a) An employee who is required to change his or her scheduled shift without receiving at least seven (7) days' notice in advance of the starting time of such change in his or her scheduled shift, shall be paid for the first (1st) shift worked on the revised schedule at the rate of time and one-half (1 1/2) for the first (1st) seven decimal five (7.5) hours and double (2) time thereafter. Subsequent shifts worked on the revised schedule shall be paid for at straight time, subject to Article 28, Overtime.

(b) Every reasonable effort will be made by the Employer to ensure that the employee returns to his or her original shift schedule and returns to his or her originally scheduled days of rest for the duration of the master shift schedule without penalty to the Employer.


You can switch shifts if there is no cost to the employer, this means you can switch shifts with other officers or rarely you might switch your shift on your own to accommodate if there is no cost again and coverage is still maintained.  Remember there is no clause for short shift change payment if you request the shift change.

25.21 Provided sufficient advance notice is given, the Employer may:

(a) authorize employees to exchange shifts if there is no increase in cost to the Employer,


(b) notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 25.13(d), authorize employees to exchange shifts for days of rest if there is no increase in cost to the Employer.


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