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  5. Employee & Family Assistance Program

EMPLOYEE & FAMILY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Sample Collective Agreement Language

 OPENING STATEMENT

 Option # 1

 During these (insert year) Contract Negotiations, the employer and its Union Representatives discussed the Mental Health and Substance Abuse problems in the daily operations at the plant and how it affects the daily lives of our employees, coworkers and their families. In addition to the serious consequences to the individual, both parties recognize that these issues contribute to absenteeism and turnover, along with other disruptions to the workforce, and the adverse effect on safety, the employee’s job performance and the employee’s morale. The Employer realizes the importance of a continuous co-operative effort between its Management team and the UNIFOR officials and its UNIFOR members in this regard and it is agreed upon to meet and discuss these problems from time to time with the view to providing assistance to the employee in conjunction with the employee’s attitude towards the problem. Such assistance will include identifying the problem at the earliest stage possible, motivating the employee to obtain help, referral of the employee for appropriate treatment and to rehabilitation facilities, and work together to educate both Management and Union members to recognize how to deal with these problems in a constructive and non-punitive manner.

 Option # 2

 Letter of Understanding – Mental Health/Substance Abuse

 During the 20__ negotiations the Union expressed a concern to the employer about the increased frequency of members and their families experiencing crisis concerning mental health and addiction issues. The parties recognize that mental health and addiction issues remain a pressing social issue affecting not just members but their families and the community.

Additionally the parties agree that members suffering from such circumstances are not at fault.

As a result of the discussions the parties agree to fully support those members who experience challenges with mental health and substance abuse. Further the parties agree that such means to support members who reach out to the employer and/or the Union will be dealt with in non-punitive measures.

Therefore ….

BENEFITS

Cost of Treatment

The employer and the Union agree to work collaboratively in ensuring members experiencing issues with mental health and addiction are offered the appropriate resources while recognising the full extent of the Ontario Human Rights Code for the purpose of accommodating such circumstances.

The employer additionally agrees to absorb the costs, if any, of a recognized treatment program that might be necessary to assist the member in the successful treatment and recovery from adverse mental health and addiction abuse.

 

Sick and Accident Pay

Short Term Disability or Weekly Indemnity

It will continue to be understood that where appropriate, employees will be allowed to apply and receive sickness and accident benefits provided they are medically authorized and in a rehabilitation facility or on an approved leave of absence in order to aid in their rehabilitation including the period of time while waiting for treatment and or to be admitted into a residential treatment centre.

 

Third Party Counselling

RE:   EAP (COUNSELLING AND ADVISORY SERVICE)

The company has agreed to provide all employees and their dependents with a voluntary counseling and advisory service. The program will be made available through the (EFAP Provider) and will provide professional, personalized, confidential counseling and advice in the following areas. A 24 hour crisis line will be made accessible where an E.A.P. counselor can be reached Toll Free.

The plan will cover but not be limited to:

  •         Gambling
  •         Substance abuse / Alcohol dependence
  •         Marital/Family counseling Elder and Child care issues
  •         Work/Career counseling
  •         Financial counseling
  •         Stress management
  •         Bereavement
  •         Mental health
  •         Anger management
  •         Work/life balance

The program will provide coverage over the duration of this agreement.

The program will provide coverage for employees and their dependents as defined below:

  •         “Dependents” include the employee’s legal spouse and children who are Canadian residents.
  •         “Children” means: employee’s unmarried dependent children under age 21;
  •         Employee’s unmarried children under age 25, if they are full time students and depend principally on the employee for their financial support whether or not they live in Canada; and
  •         Employee’s unmarried, dependent children of any age who are unable to support themselves because of a mental or physical handicap.
  •         “Spouse” means – employee’s legally married spouse, or common-law spouse or same sex partner of at least one year.

 

EFAP REPRESENTATION

EFAP Rep

One (1) EFAP representative, appointed by the bargaining committee, will serve as a resource to those individuals looking for assistance. The EFAP representatives are not intended to replace professional counselling services.

The EFAP representatives will keep all matters brought to its attention in strict confidence.

The EFAP representative will be allowed time away from the regular job when needed.

The Company will provide time off with pay for a Substance Abuse Representative to transport individuals to assessment and treatment centers where required.

 

EFAP Committee

The Company and the Union share a deep concern about the problems which exist in our society today.  Therefore, the Company agrees to an Employee Assistance Program.  In addition, two (2) representatives, the Union Chairperson and a designate from the Company, will update and modify the program as required by mutual agreement. 

These EAP representatives will meet on a regular basis and will promote its functions with a view of encouraging employees to bring possible problem situations in an effort to get appropriate assistance as soon as possible.

The EAP representatives will serve as a resource to those individuals looking for assistance and are not intended to replace professional counseling services.

The EAP representatives will keep all matters brought to its attention in strict confidence.

The Company will provide time off with pay for a Substance Abuse Representative to Communicate with the membership.

 The Company will provide time off with pay for a Substance Abuse Representative to transport individuals to assessment and treatment centers where required.

 

EFAP Representative

The Company and the Union acknowledge the contribution that the Local UNIFOR EFAP Representative can make towards workplace education, EFAP and substance abuse, counselling and referral in individual cases.

To ensure that this level of contribution continues, it is agreed that the EFAP representative will be allowed reasonable time off at those times when an employee comes forth with a mental health or substance abuse problem to assist the employee with counselling, referrals, follow-up and to transport individuals to assessment and treatment centers where required.

The EFAP Representative will not leave his/her duties without obtaining permission from his/her Supervisor. Such permission shall not be unreasonably denied.

 

Penny Fund for a Local Rep

Amalgamated Local Substance Abuse Representative

Effective upon ratification of this collective agreement, the Company agrees to pay

 ( $) cents per compensated hour per employee to a fund to be established by the

Local Union. The purpose of this fund will be to allow the Local Union to put in place for a full time Substance Abuse Representative who will work out of the Local Union office. The Substance Abuse Representative will deal with substance use and abuse intervention, counselling, referral and follow-up for individual cases as well as ongoing workplace education.

The Substance Abuse Representative will undergo any and all necessary training that is required to enable her/him to perform their duties in the proper manner.

Should the Substance Abuse Representative come from the workplace covered by this collective agreement, she/he shall be granted a leave of absence, with full accumulation of seniority and pension service for the duration of time that she/he performs the job of Substance Abuse Representative.

 

TRAINING

One day Training

The EFAP representatives will participate in the Unifor One (1) day EFAP training, all expenses will be covered by the Company including registration, travel, meals, lodging and lost time.

40 Hour Paid Education Leave Training

The Company will ensure that the Union EAP representatives will be given the opportunity to attend the Unifor 40 hr Employee Family Assistance Program course conducted at the Unifor education training center in Port Elgin, at no cost to the individuals or the Union including lost time during their regular working hours where applicable.

Other Training

In addition, it is recognized that the Substance Abuse Representative will be able to deal more effectively with matters related to substance abuse if they are provided with appropriate training. Therefore, the Company will allow reasonable time off with pay to the Substance Abuse Representative to attend courses which form part of the Addiction Intervention Association’s Alcoholism and Drug Counsellor certification program, and will assume instructional fee costs and reasonable accommodation and meal costs associated with the taking of such courses.

 Workplace Rep Training

 The Company agrees to cover all expenses to provide all members of the Union Bargaining Committee, the health and safety committee and the EFAP committee with the UNIFOR one day EFAP training one time during the life of the Collective Agreement.

 Training through Bi-annual Conference

 The employer will also allow and cover all costs including registration, travel, meals, lodging and lost time for one (1) person selected by the Union to attend the Unifor bi-annual EFAP Addictions Conference. 

 

 

COMPLETE LETTER OF UNDERSTANDING

 RE – MENTAL HEALTH/SUBSTANCE ABUSE

 During the 20__ negotiations the Union expressed a concern to the employer about the increased frequency of members and their families experiencing crisis concerning mental health and addiction issues. The parties recognize that mental health and addiction issues remain a pressing social issue affecting not just members but their families and the community.

 Additionally the parties agree that members suffering from such circumstances are not at fault.

As a result of the discussions the parties agree to fully support those members who experience challenges with mental health and substance abuse. Further the parties agree that such means to support members who reach out to the employer and/or the Union will be dealt with in non-punitive measures.

 The employer and the Union agree to work collaboratively in ensuring members experiencing issues with mental health and addiction are offered the appropriate resources while recognising the full extent of the Ontario Human Rights Code for the purpose of accommodating such circumstances.

 The employer additionally agrees to absorb the costs, if any, of a recognized treatment program that might be necessary to assist the member in the successful treatment and recovery from adverse mental health and addiction abuse.

  

IDEAL LETTER OF UNDERSTANDING (from the Healthcare Conference)

 Re: Recognizing the importance of an Employee Assistance Program

 The Union and the Employer are both jointly concerned with the personal health and welfare of all employees and their families.  The Employer and the Union also recognize that a wide range of personal problems or disorders may adversely affect an employee’s abilities and work performance.  In addition and particularly important is a recognition while providing care to our most vulnerable, employees are immersed in loss and suffering on a daily basis.

 The work of helping others requires providers to open their hearts and minds to their residents – unfortunately, this very process of empathy is what makes care givers vulnerable to being profoundly affected and even possibly damaged by their work.

 As a result disorders such as vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, burn out and other emotional stresses may result in illness; family problems; substance abuse or other life related problems.

 The parties agree will jointly endorse an EFAP bargained with the local Union funded by the Employer which will provide confidential professional assistance to both full-time and part-time employees.  The Employer will also provide training to staff annually regarding compassion fatigue strategies.

 Both parties will work jointly to develop a policy speaking to the need to identify problems at their earliest stages and provide positive corrective intervention(s) as necessary.  Further it may also be necessary to identify factors in the workplace which may cause some of the problems referred to in this letter and deal with them in a constructive manner as possible.

  

HEALTH & SAFETY VIEW  (Unifor Local 2458 and Gateway Haven Home Long Term Care)

The parties both agree that a psychologically healthy work environment is a desirable objective for both the employer and its employees. 

In keeping with that objective the parties wish to work together in order to identify psycho-social hazards in the workplace that may cause or contribute to mental health conditions, and looking for ways to eliminate them or reduce these effects.  The parties are committed to raising awareness around mental health issues. Raising awareness is a key step towards ending the stigmas associated with suffering from a mental illness and creating a safe and comfortable workplace environment for everyone.

Understanding the above the parties agree to work together during the life of the agreement in the hopes of engaging managers and employees on mental health issues and their effect on the workplace. This will be a standing discussion item on the Labour Management Committee agenda.

It is also understood that ….

 

HUMAN RIGHTS VIEW  (Unifor Local 200 and  Diageo Canada)

Certain Disabilities under the Human Rights Code, such as mental illness, may not present obvious external symptoms and as such may be considered “invisible disabilities”.  It is in the best interest of the Employee suffering from an invisible disability, the Union, and the Employer to encourage early intervention and treatment to assist Employees toward diagnosis and effective treatment.  The Employer and the Union recognize that Employees suffering from invisible disabilities are entitled to the same accommodation efforts and requirements as other disabilities under the Human Rights Code.  Further, the Employer and the Union recognize that invisible disabilities can have stigmas attached to them and the parties jointly commit to take appropriate actions to minimize such stigmas in the workplace.  As with all disabilities, and perhaps in some ways more so with in-visible disabilities, confidentiality is important and information related to invisible disabilities should be shared on a need to know basis only.  The Employer and the Union agree that, depending on individual circumstances, invisible disabilities may call for creative solutions and empathetic approaches when considering accommodation in the workplace and they agree to work in good faith to achieve these ends.

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