by Frank Vehafric, AFSCME Staff Representative.
We always get a raft of questions about the Thanksgiving holiday this time of year. Here are several of the most common.
1) Why isn't the day after Thanksgiving a paid holiday?
We always propose making it a paid holiday at bargaining and OHSU always says "no." We survey our members and this issue never rises to the top as one of the most important things we need to accomplish when we are in the middle of the give and take of bargaining. It continues to be an irritant to most of us, for sure.
2) Does OHSU have to give us the opportunity to work on Friday if we want to be paid and don't want to burn leave time?
No. If a work area is closed the employer is not required to provide alternative employment for the day.
3) Do we have to take vacation or comp time the day after Thanksgiving if our work area is closed?
No. You may take the day without pay if you wish to. If you want to be paid for Friday and your work area is closed then you will have to take paid leave.
4) If we take the day after Thanksgiving without pay does that mean we won't get paid for the Thanksgiving holiday due to the most recent contract language?
No. The contract says that you must be in paid status - working, comp time, vacation or sick leave - for the full regularly scheduled work shift immediately before and after the holiday. For those folks whose work areas will be closed the day after Thanksgiving the next scheduled work day will not be Friday but your next work day following Friday.
If your work area is open Friday, you must be in paid status on Friday to get paid for Thanksgiving.
5) Is everyone's work area closed the day after Thanksgiving?
No. Some are completely closed, some operate on a reduced schedule and for some, it's business as usual.