Give yourself your break!

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July 13, 2023

Why does it seem that we never have enough time in the work day to get everything done?

Do you feel guilty about not getting something finished at work? Is it the job?

We all have these thoughts. And in today’s workplaces, there is little room for down time. As work demands increase, many Members feel it is necessary to start skipping breaks or shorten lunches in order to get the job done.

This is not the answer.

Not only are you selling yourself short financially, but it is also not good for your work-life balance.

For example, take an employee working full-time who skips both of their 15-minute breaks:

  • Over the course of a five-day workweek, that adds up to an additional 2.5 hours.
  • At $15.50 per hour, their weekly pay after 40 hours should be $620.
  • But when you add in the 2.5 hours of “free time” worked, it means they worked 42.5 hours for that same $620.
  • As a result, their new wage is essentially $14.59 per hour – or almost 6% less than their actual rate.

But working through breaks is not the only problem.

If you stay late or start early without pay, or come in on your day off – even if it is just to do one or two important tasks – you reduce your value. In the end, any work you do off the clock is work that could have been completed by other paid employees.

If taking proper breaks, or starting early and staying late, are issues at your workplace, please speak to your Union Representative.

Proper days off and daily paid breaks are benefits that have been negotiated over time by your union and they belong to you. Don’t just give them away!

So, when your next break comes up – sit and relax. It is your time. Read a book, have a catnap, check social media, or even have a coffee and chat with co-workers!

Give yourself your break. You have earned it and you deserve it.