eZone   AFSCME Local 328
 4006 Barbur Blvd, Portland, OR 97239

Frequently Asked Questions - Vacation

Scenario: Doctor has one assistant. The assistant wants a week vacation. Can manager deny vacation because there is noone else to work with doctor and say that vacation is allowed only when said doctor is also out? This has been going on 3 years now, Wondering if vacation will ever be allowed when employee wants.

case assigned to Kate Baker.

Hi there - My department does not follow the vacation request guidelines for afscme employees. It has in the past negatively affected me and I am curious to find out if these guidelines in the contract are optional. If not, is there a way to see that my department starts following them? Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

They are not optional they are part of the contract and you should file a grievance.

I have requested 8/12/16(off) thorugh 9/12 (returning). I was denied the final 2 days and my manager sighted AFSCME contract provision that stipulates a mx of 4 weeks request. I work 10 hour shifts and with a Holiday (labor day) that gives me 160 hours off. Which = 4 work weeks of 40 hours. Is my interpretation correct or is my managers? thank you

Technically your manager is correct. It is specified as weeks, not work weeks, or hours off.

However, you may be able to use article 12.4.3.c which says that every 5 years you can ask for a block greater than 4 weeks off in the first round of requests, if you've worked at OHSU for more than 5 years and haven't taken a large block off in the past.

You may also be able to ask for the last two days in the next round of requests.

I submitted a question earlier today and got an email telling me to check here for a response....I cannot find the response to my question please help

I asked Staff to review my answer before sending it on to you. So one of them should be reviewing it shortly. Sorry you were notified before the answer was available for you to see.

Our new supervisor has recently told us that we are unable to ask for vacation to be approved unless a regularly worked shift is included in this time off. That means if we need to make sure that we have a weekend off and not be on call for traveling in the future, we cannot ask for that off unless the Friday or Monday before are included in this. Is this accurate? I cannot find where his point is stated in the contract.

Terribly sorry about the last reply. Wrong one. I sent this up the chain and asked for advice but right now, if there is no "on call policy" in place at your department then it is management discretion. If your manager requires that you take a Monday or Friday off to guarantee that weekend then you should do that. HOWEVER I would first open a discussion with your manager and see if they could just not schedule you on call for that weekend.

Could an employee/department force management into a consensus-based vacation requesting/granting process? Currently, the vacation policy isn't applied fairly throughout the department.

The short answer is no. They can't be forced to use a  consensus system. But if they don't use consensus then they should abide by the contract scheduling. Article 12.4 of the contract.

Regardless of which method of scheduling they use, it should be fairly applied throughout the work unit/department. And if they're not, then a grievance can be filed. Please contact the union if they're not being fair in vacation scheduling. Contact sooner rather than later since there are deadlines about timely filing of grievances.

You can also work with your coworkers to build consensus about who's requesting vacations when, and together submit your pre-coordinated vacation requests to your manager. Effectively creating consensus whether they agree or not.

During the inclement weather our clinic was closed. Can i take without pay or am i required to use vacation time? And does my manager have to right to constantly use my vacation time to supplement missed time ( 1-2 minutes)without my permission?

You are allowed to take it as unpaid leave.


I think to answer using your vacation for missing 1-2  minutes probably needs more information. The question would be why you're clocking out early.

I put in a request 7/10/12 for vacation from 1/25/13 - 2/15/13 but have not heard anything and would like it approved, especially since I've paid for the trip. What are the rules re vacation requests. Thanks

  The rules for scheduling vacations are complex.  They are in Article 12 of the contract.  But your situation is fairly clear.  Paragraph 12.4.3.d -

d.    Written paid leave requests submitted after March 10th, except when leave is otherwise allowed by federal or state law, must be submitted two pay periods in advance for paid leaves of one (1) week or more, and as much time in advance as possible for paid leaves of less than one (1) week. Such requests will be granted on a first-come first-served basis.  Requests for leave of one week or more shall be granted or denied within fourteen (14) days of the request.  Requests for leaves of less than one week shall be granted or denied as soon as possible based on available time off as designated by the manager.  The approved paid leave schedule will be visibly posted in the work area.

  You should have heard within 14 days of the request.

Do i need to tell my supervisor what i' doing if i need time off for personal issues with me or my family? even if they ask me directly what i need my time off for?

You do not have to tell them what it is for exactly. You can tell them it is a personal family matter, that you wish not to discuss.  You can decide whether or not to tell your supervisor, it could determine whether or not you get the time off, though.  It is up to you to decide just how much you wish to tell them.

If you are out sick, and do not have the sick time to cover all the hours, can you use vacation time to make up the difference?


No, unfortunately you can't per the afscme contract. The time will be unpaid. If you are finding that you are having to use alot of sick time, I would check into obtaining fmla for you illness.  You can go on the Ohsu Ozone and find the information.




Some of my coworkers and I were unclear about what the new contract says about vacations. If an employee has vacation and comp hours accrued is he/she able to take it all at once or is it still at the employers discretion and can be denied? Is there a limit to how long of a vacation time one can take at one time?

Vacation and comp hours can be taken all at once. The new contract says that on the first round of bidding you may use up to four weeks of vacation taken in up to four "chuncks".  However, once the bidding is completed the manager has the discretion to approve or deny requests based on the needs of the department. An exception would be if all the vacation slots for a given time were not filled, then they are available on a fisrt come first serve basis. If you reach your accrual limit and are eligible for 7.5 weeks of vacation time, the employer is not obligated to let you use it all at once. The approval is based on the operating needs of the employer. Members are required to manage their vacation time and use it so that it does not become an urgent need to use it before you stop accruing it.

If an employee puts in a vacation request for the same time as an employee that has more seniority in the first round and they get denied, due to only allowing one person off at a time does this still count as one of their 4 requests

The contract says it will not grant more than four requests for any one member during the first round. It does not say you can only put in four requests.

If I request a holiday off does that count as a vacation request or is that a separate request.

If you are requesting the Holiday as part of a longer vacation then 12.4.3  (Submission and granting of vacation requests) of the contract tells us that process. If you are requesting that day only (the Holiday) then 11.4 (Holiday work schedules) of the contract applies. If a consensus agreement in your work unit exists and is current with the new contract then you must abide by those rules.

I asked to use "vac" to transport my brother home from the hospital after a heart attack. The time off was granted, but changed to "sic" by the Adm. Coordinator. Is that allowed????

No, they cannot do that. Timekeepers are not supposed to change your time sheet unless you request it or it's authorized by supervisor. Since your vacation request was approved, it should be entered as vacation. However, it could be to your benefit to use the sick time instead. Sick time can only be used for time off while sick, caring for sick family, or doctor's appointments. Vacation time is more flexible and once granted cannot be cancelled.

I was called on Sunday 12/14/08 and told the office would not open due to the weather and not to come in, and now they are asking me to use my vacation time. I know if they send you home because of bad weather they will pay for the full day, but what about when the managers call and close the clinic, should they pay yesterday 12/15/08 also?

This falls under Temporary Layoff.  When they close the office due to unforeseen circumstances, according to the contract, they only have to notify you two hours prior to your shift.  You are NOT required to use your vacation time, they will put your time in as Leave Without Pay so your benefits and seniority is not affected.  If you prefer to have pay for that day you can use your vacation time or you can use Comp Time if you have any.

21.1     Temporary layoff is defined as a temporary interruption of employment because of lack of work or unexpected or unusual reasons. Temporary layoff is different than permanent layoff, as defined in Article 20, because at the termination of such conditions giving rise to the temporary layoff, employees are to be returned to employment. Temporary layoff shall not exceed one hundred and twenty (120) hours, per employee, in any calendar year. These hours shall be prorated for part-time employees based on the established FTE for the position. Such temporary layoff shall be recorded and reported as leave without pay, but seniority and other fringe benefits shall continue without interruption during this period. An employee temporarily laid off may choose to be paid for accrued vacation and paid leave time at the rate being earned at the time of the temporary layoff or to maintain his/her accruals.
If a department anticipates a lack of work on or around a holiday, it shall make a reasonable effort to notify employees at least twenty one (21) days prior to the holiday. When there is a general closing of a department for a day, on or around a holiday, the Employer will not be expected to grant the right to work to any employee in that department on that day. At the discretion of the immediate supervisor, an employee may make up the time, provided it is in the same workweek or extended workweek and the work does not result in the payment of overtime.
21.2     An employee shall be given notice of cancellation a minimum of two (2) hours prior to the scheduled start time of the shift being canceled.

21.3     Temporary layoff shall take place in the affected work unit in the following order: volunteer employees, temporary employees, probationary employees and other regular employees in order of seniority. The temporary layoff shall take place among those who are regularly scheduled to perform the affected duties

I'm just verifying the method used to calculate the amount of time off requested on the upcoming vacation schedule.

There are several things you need to know.

First comp time can't be used for a vacation bid. Only vacation time can be bid.

Second, the employer must guarantee that every employee will be able to use at least their annual accrual of vacation in each year, but employees aren't limited to bidding only their annual accrual. You can bid whatever vacation time you have on the books. You may not include comp time when calculating how many hours you may bid.

Third, the contract also says that the employer must calculate the minimum time available for vacations by taking into account all the time that the employees in the department have on the books including carryover hours.

Finally, the employer is not required to allow employees to anticipate how many hours they will earn in the upcoming year when submitting a vacation bid. Many supervisors do allow this but it's not required.

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