This award follows a previous one issued on January 5, 2016, in which the Board of Arbitration, chaired by Arbitrator David Starkman, held that the Hospital violated the collective agreement by calculating vacation entitlement and vacation pay for regular part-time and casual members based on their regular straight time rate of pay rather than on their “gross earnings” within the meaning of the Local’ s collective agreement.

In this case, the issue was what forms of payments are included in the calculation of an employee’s “gross earnings.” The Hospital conceded that gross earnings include overtime pay, premium pay, holiday pay, premiums (standby, shifts and weekend) and percentages in lieu of benefits, but denied that gross earnings include vacation pay.

In this December 19 award, the same panel allowed the grievance and ordered the Hospital to include vacation pay in its calculation of gross earnings for regular part-time and casual members. Its damage award is retroactive to April 1, 2014, resulting in over two years of retroactive payments to the affected members.

This case provides additional clarity as to the interpretation of the term “gross earnings”, a term which is not found in the Central Collective Agreement but which is common in local agreements across the province.