National Day for Truth and Reconciliation now a paid holiday for Rexall/Pharma Plus members

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April 1, 2022

In 2021, the Union filed a grievance against Rexall/Pharma Plus for a breach of collective agreement language when the company chose not to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid holiday for Members.

Unable to resolve the issue through the grievance procedure, the parties met at an arbitration hearing on February 18, 2022.

On March 31, 2022, Arbitrator Randazzo issued a decision in favour of the Union’s position; that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation should be treated as a paid holiday in keeping with existing language in Articles 7.01 and 6.01 in Appendix A of the collective agreement.

The decision covers UFCW Locals 175 & 633 members who were actively employed by Rexall/Pharma Plus on September 30, 2021. In total, approximately 3,200 members across the province will benefit from this win, as will many more going forward.

For the calendar year 2022 and thereafter, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be added as a paid public holiday in the collective agreement for Rexall/Pharma Plus employees.

Members employed on September 30, 2021, will receive float time in lieu of retroactive payment. Full-time employees will receive one float day, valued at 12 hours of straight time at the employee’s regular hourly rate. Part-time employees will receive a float day valued at four hours of straight time at the employee’s regular rate.

These float days must be:

  • Taken within one year of the decision date (March 31, 2022);
  • Requested at least three weeks in advance;
  • Taken at one time (employees may not break up the hours), and;
  • Cannot be unreasonably denied by the employer.

Members with questions or concerns should contact their Union Representative.

In November 2021, the Union was victorious against Loblaw Companies for a similar breach of its collective agreements with the Members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633. You can read more on that here.

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