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Is my entire unit getting screwed for leave?

Loachman

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I fully understand these aspects, which all need to be properly considered when constructing a fair and consistent means of determining leave for those who lead non-standard (within the CF) work lives - something that is unlikely to happen, unfortunately.

But then much of the CF also leads non-standard work lives for various periods - long- or short-term TD, exercises, deployments, long voyages on the briny ocean tossed - and that is why the leave policy, overall, is so generous.

 

Franko

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So, 24 on, 24 off, 24 on, 5 days off?

Sign me up for this trade!

Regards
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Nerf herder said:
So, 24 on, 24 off, 24 on, 5 days off?

Sign me up for this trade!

Regards

What?......and give up your 24 on, 24 on, 24 on, 24 on,................?
 

garb811

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mariomike said:
Heard that from citizens for many years. I cried all the way to the bank.  :)

We could get into a Unit Hour Utilization ( UHU ) discussion. But, suffice to say,  it's "work" just being there. Regardless of how one measures productivity.

Pay and hours of work remain the same whether you are out breaking your back, enjoying a tasty BBQ, washing your car, watching your favorite TV show, or sleeping on the job. :)

FWIW, regarding scheduling, in the city I reside, firefighters work ten 24-hour shifts every six weeks, and paramedics work twenty 12-hour shifts every six weeks.

Impressed a scheduling discussion has gone on for three pages, and counting!
Mariomike, you have a tendency at times to equate civilian scenarios onto the military world as if they are mirror images of each other, which they aren't.  For instance, in this case, civilian (even DND civilian) firefighters negotiate their pay and benefits with the employer.  And that includes the conditions of work.  For those of us in the military, that doesn't happen; one set of pay and benefits apply no matter what the conditions of work.  That ends up in policies that have wiggle room and room for interpretation as to how those policies apply to non-standard examples.

So, if we use the idea that 24 hours of work (whether that be time spent actually working, time spent on standby at work watching the hockey game or time spent asleep), followed by 24 hours off completely, and then another 24 hour work cycle results in five days off, how do we square that with folks posted aboard ship where they are "at work" for the entire time they at sea?  The Army when they deploy on exercise?  When we deploy on Ops?  What about guys like EiTS who spend an entire weekend on call who I am guessing is still expected to show up for normal duty on Monday morning if they haven't launched?  The various other people who are put on call without compensation (Duty JAG, Duty MO, Military Police Duty Officer, Duty Supply Tech, Duty Image Tech, the IRU each Bde maintains on reduced notice to move...)? We certainly aren't compensating those personnel (who are entitled to the same basic benefits as a firefighter in a firehall) to anything near the standard that is happening in this situation.  If we did that...nobody would be at work, ever.

We in the military are given a lot of latitude as to being flexible with the work hours of people in order to make up for some of those discrepancies.  For instance, if someone has to go take their kid to the dentist at two in the afternoon and the member has nothing that "requires" them to be at work, the general attitude is the person is out the door and done for the day; they don't need to put in a leave pass.  Same thing for stuff like medical and dental appointments, hell, even PT time.  For us that is "duty" type stuff so we go during working hours but in the civilian world, the vast majority of people don't have that flexibility.  If they want to do that kind of stuff, they are going off the clock and using one type of leave or another because the employer has an expectation that that person is going to work for the hours they are mandated to work...if they want to keep their job.

As a result of that flexibility though, there is a requirement that what we do is within defensible bounds.  When it gets out of control, that is when push back happens, such as with the Navy's sliders.  I knew guys who headed home after soup on Friday on a regular basis and after lunch, the Dockyard was pretty much a ghost town.  When the unions called foul because they were being blamed for work not getting done on the ships, the Admiral had no choice but to make sliders go away (although if I was a betting man, they have slowly crept back in).

And then there are the unintended consequences where having people work certain periods of times kicks in entitlements that they otherwise wouldn't have that increases the costs for the CAF.  In this instance, all of the firefighters working that shift are now entitled to rations at public expense for their duty period.  There is also the fact that there is now less time available for the folks working these shifts to do the other military oriented stuff that needs to be done because out of that 24 hour period, I don't think it would be reasonable to expect them to be "working" from 0730 hrs to 2300 hrs (or whenever bedtime is) whereas my observation is that during a 12-13 hour night shift, at least a portion of those waking hours were spent doing "work" related activities before winding it down for the night and the day shift followed a pretty standard day routine of anyone else on the base.

Looking at it from the viewpoint of someone who has subordinates who work shift, this schedule is causing problems for the supervisors.  Maybe it is keeping enough people on shift, maybe it is getting people's annual leave expended.  I don't know what the actual issue is that has caused the local leave policy to be changed so that the they need to take 2 days leave for 1 shift off but my gut is telling me that if this gets "pushed" via a redress or something, the whole scheme is going to fall apart.

Eye In The Sky said:
I think we're starting to blurr the lines between "duty hours" and "work hours".  If we do that, we'd also have to factor in lunch breaks, smoke/coffee breaks, admin time, etc for the *normal* work week folks.  I don't know a single mbr who sits down in their workspace at 0800 and has at it until 1600.
True, but on the other hand, every place I have been have a standing order which designates working hours, including lunch and breaks.  Makes it much easier to ding the problem children who can't get out of bed in the morning.

Edit to add:  We have a similar problem with our shift workers and it really comes to a head when posting season rolls around and shift workers are posted to an Embassy.  8 days of special relocation can equate to 3 weeks of time off if not managed properly.
 

SupersonicMax

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garb,

The difference between someone on duty at home and a firefighter on duty or a fighter pilot/technician in the QRA is that we are tied to out place of employment.  You cannot leave your place of duty because of the response times expected of you.  You literally have to sleep in a room next to the jet /firetruck in case you get launched.  I can't even work out in good conscience because that means having to change into PT clothes and eventually take a shower.  Having that responsibility is quite fatiguing even if you are "resting".  I have never really gotten out of the QRA well rested even if nothing happens.  When something happenned, I would be a bag of hammers the next day...

As far as Operations go, there is leave to compensate for that. (HLTA, pre/post-deployment leave)
 

mariomike

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garb811 said:
Mariomike, you have a tendency at times to equate civilian scenarios onto the military world as if they are mirror images of each other, which they aren't.  For instance, in this case, civilian (even DND civilian) firefighters negotiate their pay and benefits with the employer.  And that includes the conditions of work.  For those of us in the military, that doesn't happen; one set of pay and benefits apply no matter what the conditions of work.  That ends up in policies that have wiggle room and room for interpretation as to how those policies apply to non-standard examples.

So, if we use the idea that 24 hours of work (whether that be time spent actually working, time spent on standby at work watching the hockey game or time spent asleep), followed by 24 hours off completely, and then another 24 hour work cycle results in five days off, how do we square that with folks posted aboard ship where they are "at work" for the entire time they at sea?  The Army when they deploy on exercise?  When we deploy on Ops?  What about guys like EiTS who spend an entire weekend on call who I am guessing is still expected to show up for normal duty on Monday morning if they haven't launched?  The various other people who are put on call without compensation (Duty JAG, Duty MO, Military Police Duty Officer, Duty Supply Tech, Duty Image Tech, the IRU each Bde maintains on reduced notice to move...)? We certainly aren't compensating those personnel (who are entitled to the same basic benefits as a firefighter in a firehall) to anything near the standard that is happening in this situation.  If we did that...nobody would be at work, ever.

We in the military are given a lot of latitude as to being flexible with the work hours of people in order to make up for some of those discrepancies.  For instance, if someone has to go take their kid to the dentist at two in the afternoon and the member has nothing that "requires" them to be at work, the general attitude is the person is out the door and done for the day; they don't need to put in a leave pass.  Same thing for stuff like medical and dental appointments, hell, even PT time.  For us that is "duty" type stuff so we go during working hours but in the civilian world, the vast majority of people don't have that flexibility.  If they want to do that kind of stuff, they are going off the clock and using one type of leave or another because the employer has an expectation that that person is going to work for the hours they are mandated to work...if they want to keep their job.

As a result of that flexibility though, there is a requirement that what we do is within defensible bounds.  When it gets out of control, that is when push back happens, such as with the Navy's sliders.  I knew guys who headed home after soup on Friday on a regular basis and after lunch, the Dockyard was pretty much a ghost town.  When the unions called foul because they were being blamed for work not getting done on the ships, the Admiral had no choice but to make sliders go away (although if I was a betting man, they have slowly crept back in).

And then there are the unintended consequences where having people work certain periods of times kicks in entitlements that they otherwise wouldn't have that increases the costs for the CAF.  In this instance, all of the firefighters working that shift are now entitled to rations at public expense for their duty period.  There is also the fact that there is now less time available for the folks working these shifts to do the other military oriented stuff that needs to be done because out of that 24 hour period, I don't think it would be reasonable to expect them to be "working" from 0730 hrs to 2300 hrs (or whenever bedtime is) whereas my observation is that during a 12-13 hour night shift, at least a portion of those waking hours were spent doing "work" related activities before winding it down for the night and the day shift followed a pretty standard day routine of anyone else on the base.

Looking at it from the viewpoint of someone who has subordinates who work shift, this schedule is causing problems for the supervisors.  Maybe it is keeping enough people on shift, maybe it is getting people's annual leave expended.  I don't know what the actual issue is that has caused the local leave policy to be changed so that the they need to take 2 days leave for 1 shift off but my gut is telling me that if this gets "pushed" via a redress or something, the whole scheme is going to fall apart.
True, but on the other hand, every place I have been have a standing order which designates working hours, including lunch and breaks.  Makes it much easier to ding the problem children who can't get out of bed in the morning.

Edit to add:  We have a similar problem with out shift workers and it really comes to a head when posting season rolls around and shift workers posted to an Embassy.  8 days of special relocation can equate to 3 weeks of time off if not managed properly.

:goodpost:
 

garb811

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Max:

Trust me, I get it. A large part of my career has been spent working shift, or being on the MPDO roster.  I also had a posting where, for a period of time due to schedules, we were allowed to go to ground as long as we remained gunned up and ready to roll...yeah, not restful at all but I was still more rested than when circumstances changed and I had to be up for the entire shift period.  As the MPDO, depending on the Base, that could result in multiple calls at night over the course of a duty week, and even trips into the guardhouse if the issue was significant enough.  To say that I was well rested at any point in my time at a busy base as a "day worker", even though my duty was "at home", would be a stretch.

Question for you ref time in the QRA.  How often is the duty cycle pulled on average and what is the time off when you come off the 24 hr period?
 

SupersonicMax

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garb811 said:
Max:

Trust me, I get it. A large part of my career has been spent working shift, or being on the MPDO roster.  I also had a posting where, for a period of time due to schedules, we were allowed to go to ground as long as we remained gunned up and ready to roll...yeah, not restful at all but I was still more rested than when circumstances changed and I had to be up for the entire shift period.  As the MPDO, depending on the Base, that could result in multiple calls at night over the course of a duty week, and even trips into the guardhouse if the issue was significant enough.  To say that I was well rested at any point in my time at a busy base as a "day worker", even though my duty was "at home", would be a stretch.

Question for you ref time in the QRA.  How often is the duty cycle pulled on average and what is the time off when you come off the 24 hr period?

Sure you pulled these shifts but you still had the liberty to go about and do get a coffee at Timmies if you wanted.

When I got on squadron, I would go to work on the day I got out of the QRA.  I basically didn't get time off for QRA per se.  I would go to work and often fly a sortie that day.  I would be bagged at he end of the day though and most times had to go back in the QRA the next day.  A week of that really took its toll.  Towards the end of my second tour, we would have the day after we got out off but we were on duty from home.  There was nothing else in terms of compensation.  As a note, anytime we had to sleep in the QRA, we were given the incidental allowance.

Like I said, I am not one that seeks more leave than I already have: for my personnal taste, my yearly leave entitlement is a little too much.  I wish I could accumulate for future use rather than use it on time off that is not really enjoyable (spouse working for example). Having said that, I can understand that people would think they get shortchanged.  My belief is if you are expected to sleep at work because we may need you, any calendar day you were physically at work should count towards something.  Perhaps if we use something like reserve day accounting for duty day (less than 6 hours in a day at work counts towards 1/2 duty day) would work better.

In this case, if you change over at 6AM or 7PM, 24 hrs at work equals 1.5 duty days vs 2.  The remaining 1/2 day would be rest.  On a 2 on/2 off/2 on schedule, it would mean you actually worked 5 days and fot 2 days off, which would be on par with everybody else.  For every 6 calendar days, you would get 2 full days off vs the normal 2 for 7 days.  This would account for the hardhip of sleeping at work and all..

This would mean a massive overhaul on how we reckon leave but it could be done (we somewhat do that for short already).
 

garb811

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SupersonicMax said:
Sure you pulled these shifts but you still had the liberty to go about and do get a coffee at Timmies if you wanted.
Lol, I joined in 85.  Timmies didn't exist in my neck of the woods when I started doing shifts and, back in that day and age, even if you were off base for duty reasons, if you got caught stopping at a McDonalds or a coffee shop...things went very bad for you.

I was also posted to an Embassy which was manned 24/7.  There was no opportunity to get out of the Embassy, at any time, for any reason, while on shift as we were one person and in uniform.  Because of where CSC was located, there was no television and no internet as DFAIT hadn't rolled out their world wide network yet.  Night shifts were pretty awesome, basically 3-4 hours of getting stuff done before you locked the Embassy down for the night and then 7-8 hours sitting by yourself, in a box, watching security cameras, monitoring the alarm systems and reading the literary classics of Zane Gray and Harlequin Romances that the Legion was kind enough to send in welfare boxes 2-3 times a year, except for two security patrols of the empty building that took about 20 min if you walked really, really slowly... So, yeah, I do get it.

When I got on squadron, I would go to work on the day I got out of the QRA.  I basically didn't get time off for QRA per se.  I would go to work and often fly a sortie that day.  I would be bagged at he end of the day though and most times had to go back in the QRA the next day.  A week of that really took its toll.  Towards the end of my second tour, we would have the day after we got out off but we were on duty from home.  There was nothing else in terms of compensation.  As a note, anytime we had to sleep in the QRA, we were given the incidental allowance.
I'm not surprised you were a mess, the last few hours of a night shift and the next two days I was done.  A week of what you were pulling is insanity.  How did that reconcile with your crew day?  My understanding was those were hard and fast rules that didn't get broken?  Incidentals is also very interesting, first I have heard of that being done for duty pers.  It would certainly bring some sanity to what the Army does where each Bn/Regt seems to have a Duty Officer, Duty Sgt, Duty Cpl and Duty driver on for 24 hour periods on top of the Garrison duty folks.

My belief is if you are expected to sleep at work because we may need you, any calendar day you were physically at work should count towards something.  Perhaps if we use something like reserve day accounting for duty day (less than 6 hours in a day at work counts towards 1/2 duty day) would work better.
I don't disagree with you, and would stretch it to include some form of compensation for any stand-by time because really, you're still on duty if you are tied to a Blackberry and have to be immediately ready to either provide direction or head into work or whatever. 

The civilian world deals with that via shift premiums for people who work night shift, "jammy" shift rotations, overtime, and stand-by pay.  Unfortunately, we in the military can't even agree what shift work is, so I doubt there is going to be any kind of consensus on how to properly account and compensate for any of that.
 

Franko

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All these shifts sound horrible.  /sarcasm

At least you weren't being rocketed, mortared shot at every day for months on end even while "off shift".

Try to keep some perspective folks....you have a bed, a roof over your head and no one is actively trying to kill you. Life is good.

Regards
 

SupersonicMax

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You are compensated when you are in an environment that has bullets and rockets flying around.  With RA and tax free salary.

Because your life is not immediately threatened doesn't mean you shouln't get fair and sufficient time off for out of ordinary shifts.
 

CountDC

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Over complicating this.

In a shift as presented they work 48 hours (2 days on of 24 hours). In a normal shift of 8 hour days (yeah we all get it that not everyone works it but that is what is considered a normal work day) over the same period of 8 days you would be expected to work 48 hours.  Under the normal schedule to take off the 8 days you would have to use 6 days of leave thus iaw with the leave manual the shift worker should use 6 days to get the same period off.

You are not getting screwed, you are getting off easy,  it should be 3 days annual for taking a scheduled 24 hour work day off as under a normal schedule it would take 3 days (3 X 8) vice the 2 days they are enforcing. 

and in case anyone is wondering - both schedules get 144 hours off in the 8 day period. Below is a chart showing the schedule.  I actually did this for four 8 day schedules in a row and regardless of the day you start on it works out the same.

Shift                                          Normal
mon on 24 8 on 16
tue off 24 8 on 16
wed on 24 8 on 16
thu off 24 8 on 16
fri off 24 8 on 16
sat off 24 0 off 24
sun off 24 0 off 24
mon off 24 8 on 16
48       144         48 144



 

Towards_the_gap

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I've been watching this thread with interest as a former ground pounder and now as someone who works the 24 hr shift. To be honest, I'm too baffled by the regulations quoted here to debate the meaning and intent of the CF Leave Manual, hell I rarely paid attention to it when I was in!

But I will say this, yes the 24hr shift pattern is a good go. Stating that your 'unit is getting screwed for leave' is kinda pushing it I would say, and I would be wary of charging up this particular hill. You may expend 'leadership capital' that could be put to better use elsewhere.

By all means ask for the extra leave, but when it gets turned down, if it does, perhaps just take it as one of those military things, grumble about it over morning coffee, and worry about how else you can improve your workplace/team.

Just my 2c.
 

Eye In The Sky

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CountDC,

Sorry, how would it take 3 x Ann Days to take 2 calendar days of leave exactly?  Shift starts at 0730, ends on 0730.  That's 2 calendar days, from 0000-2359 each. 
 

McG

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CountDC,
Your math works if every eight day cycle starts on a Monday, but (since our weeks are only seven days long) I think we can agree that is not the reality.  Check your model for a Saturday or Sunday start to the eight day cycle and tell us who has more hours.  Or, just extend the math out to 56 days (a common termination point for both seven and eight day cycles) and tell us how the hours are different.

But it does not matter, because the CAF does not account for leave or work days in terms of hours.

The funny thing about shift work is that it is scheduled.  So if you are supposed to work Monday and Wednesday but put in for leave from Monday to Wednesday, that should not mean you get a full 8 day cycle of no work.  You should be working Thursday and Friday instead.  As long as scheduling shifts right (never left) to accommodate days of leave, then at the end of the year it works out to you having used the 25 days (depending on TI) to which you are entitled.
 
 

QV

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And then when a day worker puts in for Monday to Friday off surely they will be working Saturday and Sunday, right?  If not then it should cost two annual for the weekend as well.... because that is what you are suggesting for the shift worker.

 

McG

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QV said:
And then when a day worker puts in for Monday to Friday off surely they will be working Saturday and Sunday, right?  If not then it should cost two annual for the weekend as well.... because that is what you are suggesting for the shift worker.
No I am not.  Read earlier posts and you will see I have addressed weekends.  If someone on the eight day cycles were to take three days annual, they should be given a day of weekend to take with it.  At five days of annual, there would be a second day of weekend tied to the leave.
 

Eye In The Sky

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QV said:
And then when a day worker puts in for Monday to Friday off surely they will be working Saturday and Sunday, right?  If not then it should cost two annual for the weekend as well.... because that is what you are suggesting for the shift worker.

How is that when you take into consideration the policy  states:

1.1.12 Leave

Leave means absence from duty approved by an approving authority.  [meaning, non working/duty days in any mbr's schedule are not Ann Lve days.  Including all the Mon-Fri folks who aren't on duty every weekend, but aren't burning Ann Lve either].

1.1.24 Working Day

Working day means a day of paid service on which an officer or non-commissioned member is regularly scheduled to perform duty.

Section 2.2 Reckoning Time

2.2.01 Reckoning Time

Except in the case of short leave, leave begins at 0000 hours on the commencement date and ends at 2400 hours on the last day of leave.

Weekends, designated holidays and other holidays (listed in Annex A of this chapter), or in the case of shift workers, their scheduled non-working days (designated as weekends on the CF100); shall not be charged against any leave that is granted in working days although such days will normally form part of the leave period.


And lastly, ref the attach picture.
 

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garb811

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CountDC: Your idea also runs smack into:

Section 2.2 Reckoning Time
2.2.01 Reckoning Time

Except in the case of short leave, leave begins at 0000 hours on the commencement date and ends at 2400 hours on the last day of leave.

Weekends, designated holidays and other holidays (listed in Annex A of this chapter), or in the case of shift workers, their scheduled non-working days (designated as weekends on the CF100); shall not be charged against any leave that is granted in working days although such days will normally form part of the leave period.

McG:  Your idea runs into the problem of the actual shift schedule and getting the person back on to their actual shift as well.

Looking at the leave manual, there has been an amendment at some point to the shift worker section from what was originally published.  The example provided never existed, it was how many Guardhouses were doing it (in order to take "days off" as a shift worker you first needed to earn them by working the actual shift) but when the leave manual came out it only talked about "scheduled days" and "scheduled days off" without providing any kind of example which resulted in us giving leave as per the published leave schedule (ie. as long as it was a scheduled shift day off, you got it as a shift worker whether it had been earned or not).
 

ballz

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The real problem here is that 25 annual leave days (and pretty much everything else in the leave manual) is meant to solve a leave problem for M-F type workers.

Weekend(Shiftworker) was thrown in to help manage shiftworkers, but if one annual got you out of one working day, shiftworkers would be able to get an obscene amount of leave. So they added the caveat that annual leave will be taken in calendar days, just like M-F workers. That doesn't fit so nicely into managing a shift schedule.

Ideally, I would look at it like this... Someone with 25 annual gets 5x 7-day periods off of work, or 35 days non-working days. Give someone the shifts off that gets them that... If you have an 8 day cycle with 2x 24hr shifts in it, you get to take 9 full shifts off throughout the year, no complications. That gets you 36 days of non-working days.

Keep track of all the other days off we get as M-F workers... stats holidays, "traditional" short days (the ones we always seem to get out of historical practice, depending on your unit... like 4 short during xmas break, 2 short for march break), the special at Xmas, etc... let's say they add up to another 10* non-working days. You get an additional 2 shifts you can take off, which will give you an additional 8 non-working days.

So now M-F workers get their 25 annual, 8-day cycle shiftworkers get their 11 shifts off.... M-F workers get 45 non-working days, shiftworkers get 44.... that's pretty fackin' fair.

Unfortunately, the leave manual does not provide this level of flexibility for Commanders... the other (smaller) issue is how to prorate that for someone who gets posted in half-way through the fiscal year.


*The number 10 was pulled out of my ass, I'm sure it's more like 20.
 
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