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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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My Union contract states that "employees employed in the bargaining

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My Union contract states that "employees employed in the bargaining unit covered by this agreement shall earn annual leave in accordance with the following schedule:
a. 0 to 5 years of full service... 12 days b. 5-10 years of full service..17 days." etc
"Employees shall have seniority dating from the Employees most recent starting date of employment."
If I left the company for several years and returned (as a union employee), should my annual leave be based on my seniority years or years of service with the company. Non-union employee' service is bridged so their annual leave is based on total years of service. The Union employees service is recognized by the company, but seniority is not bridged per the union contract. My hang up is the annual leave says based on years of full service, not seniority. Thank you.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

The last part of that clause indicates that if you left the employer and returned then the seniority date would be the date when you returned as that is the "most recent starting date of employment." As far as your leave accrual, if it says "full service" and does not say seniority date, then the accrual should be based on the total time of service with the employer based on the contractual wording you have described. This would be something you need to file a grievance over with the union, because I agree with the HR director's initial impression and your impression regarding "full service" as that is what it means, the full length of time with the employer.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your opinion. Unfortunately, I can't go to my union for help since they have never stood up for any previous returning employees.

Guess I could file the grievance on my own with the Labor board.

Legally, because the union is the sole bargaining agent with the employer, you must first try to go through them. If they refuse to process your grievance, then you can file a grievance and also a complaint to the labor board for not properly representing you as they are contractually bound to do and at that point you must engage a local labor law attorney to proceed to the labor board against them.
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