Ask Jean…

I just worked a really, really long shift. What am I entitled to?
Well, you should check your Collective Agreement, because the answer varies based on where you work, how you’re scheduled, and even what time of day it is.

If you work at the CBC, you get paid time-and-a-half after the end of your scheduled shift, or you can opt for time off instead. After ten hours, you get a second meal break, and then another one every four hours after that. You should also get a premium for this meal. If you work a compressed week, you have to stay 2.25 hours after the end of your shift to qualify. If the beginning or end of your shift lands between midnight and 7 am, you get an additional 15% for that time.

At TVO and TFO, your overtime is averaged over a four-week period. If you work more than 140 hours in the four week period, but less than 160, you are given time off at straight time. If you work more than 160 hours in the four week period, you are paid time-and-a-half, or you can opt for time off instead, also at time-and-a-half. Depending on when your shift starts, you may be eligible for a night-shift premium. If you work more than two hours between midnight and 7 am, you get a 15% premium for those hours. You should also get a break in every four-hour chunk of your shift.

At S-Vox, If you work more than 37.5 hours in a week, you should be paid time-and-a-half for the extra hours. You can choose to take compensatory time off instead. If you work more than 10 hours, you may be given a second meal break.

Reuters employees can expect overtime after 35 hours in a week, paid at time-and-a-half, or the equivalent in time off. However, you can only bank up to 10 days worth of overtime. With approval from a supervisor, that can go up to 15 days. If you work more than 11 hours in a shift, Reuters has to pay you the overtime.

If you work at The Canadian Press in Editorial or Business, Sales and Marketing, you get to pick whether you want pay or time off at time-and a half for work beyond 35 hours in a week. After accumulating more than 105 hours, you need consent from the employer before accruing any more. Certain employees, however, have their overtime averaged over four weeks. The rules are different if you are on an out-of-town assignment such as the Olympics or the Pan-Am games. There are a third set of rules during an election. There are shift premiums for working overnight and weekends. If you work in IT, you get extra meal and break periods as well as time-and-a-half pay for overtime. Day employees in IT are paid double time if they are asked to come in before 7 am.

All Canadian Press employees get shift premiums for working night or overnight shifts. Any hours between 7 pm and 6 am will qualify you for an additional 7% of salary, and any hours between 3:59 am and 6 am will qualify you for a premium of 8%.

No matter where you work, if you’re self-assigned, you don’t get anything extra for working long days, except the ability to take time off later to make up for it. If, however, your workload is heavy enough that you can’t work reasonable hours, get in touch with your union representative. Being self-assigned should not mean working for free! It’s a good idea for all members, self-assigned or not, to keep accurate records of how much they work.

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