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Federal government hiring process - can you negotiate vacation?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 8th, 2017 9:34 am
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 26, 2017
5 posts
2 upvotes

Federal government hiring process - can you negotiate vacation?

Can you negotiate how many weeks of vacation you get when accepting a federal government job?

I'm thinking of accepting a job in the federal government after working for a different private sector organization for 10 years. I didn't have a problem negotiating a higher step salary due to a severe shortage of people within my career field, and given my current pay and experience. In my current private sector job, I get 4.5 weeks of vacation and I really don't want to go back to only 3 weeks. Is it possible to negotiate this? I'm already 10 years into my career and it's not an entry-level position. I'm just not sure how the unions work. (The union is CAPE if that makes a difference.)
33 replies
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User avatar
Jun 3, 2005
27793 posts
818 upvotes
Dildo, NL
Nope.

Vacation is based on tenure in the Public Service / Canadian Forces & perhaps....some other Crown Corporations or other associated departments/agencies?

After 8 years, then you bump up.

I wonder if perhaps for excluded employees (EX's?) if the rules are different? I wouldn't be surprised.
Last edited by bubble.tea on Nov 28th, 2017 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Newbie
Oct 27, 2016
63 posts
30 upvotes
Generally no, the collective agreement applies to everyone.
Sr. Member
Jan 15, 2017
701 posts
466 upvotes
No you cannot as vacation is determined by collective agreements and terms and conditions of employment. As a new employee, you will start with 3 weeks.
Member
Aug 8, 2010
379 posts
37 upvotes
jacolantern wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 3:39 pm
Can you negotiate how many weeks of vacation you get when accepting a federal government job?

I'm thinking of accepting a job in the federal government after working for a different private sector organization for 10 years. I didn't have a problem negotiating a higher step salary due to a severe shortage of people within my career field, and given my current pay and experience. In my current private sector job, I get 4.5 weeks of vacation and I really don't want to go back to only 3 weeks. Is it possible to negotiate this? I'm already 10 years into my career and it's not an entry-level position. I'm just not sure how the unions work. (The union is CAPE if that makes a difference.)
If private sector is so much better, why people consider going to the fed.? Is private sector really not secure? and pension not goo?
Newbie
Nov 17, 2017
4 posts
2 upvotes
I was in the same situation and managed to negotiate extra vacation time "under the table" but it won't carry forward if I move to a different area within the government. Try negotiating with the hiring manager, if they want you bad enough they'll try to work something out for you. Worth a shot.
Deal Addict
Sep 4, 2007
1013 posts
391 upvotes
Edmonton
So you can't negotiate even at manager level jobs? That's kind of a major barrier to entry. People with good tenure could have like 5-7 weeks vacation at their old job.
Sr. Member
Jul 7, 2013
859 posts
381 upvotes
North York
Recently accepted a regional municipality job. They normally give 2 weeks for all people but I was able to negotiate for 3 weeks. However I believe this needs approval from the higher ups
Deal Addict
Apr 21, 2014
1154 posts
294 upvotes
Alberta
bubble.tea wrote:
Nov 28th, 2017 9:25 am
Nope.

Vacation is based on tenure in the Public Service / Canadian Forces & perhaps....some other Crown Corporations or other associated departments/agencies?

After 8 years, then you bump up.

I wonder if perhaps for excluded employees (EX's?) if the rules are different? I wouldn't be surprised.
You are right but you can be granted years of service based on experience. I was granted years of service at my company that gave me 5 weeks vacay
Sr. Member
Jan 15, 2017
701 posts
466 upvotes
rhubard wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2017 1:37 pm
I was in the same situation and managed to negotiate extra vacation time "under the table" but it won't carry forward if I move to a different area within the government. Try negotiating with the hiring manager, if they want you bad enough they'll try to work something out for you. Worth a shot.
If this is true, you are in a very precarious situation should you take the leave. All leave has to be approved and signed off by your supervisor. This sort of under the table arrangement means that you and your supervisor are willing to commit fraud. Either you will submit incorrect leave requests or you will take leave without submitting leave requests. In both cases, these types of actions are easily uncovered during an audit and are grounds for termination.

One thing that you will quickly learn about working in the Federal Public Service is that it is a very competitive work place. People spend considerable time and effort monitoring who gets what promotions and who gets preferential treatment. Your colleagues will know who comes in late, who leaves early, who takes long coffee breaks, who works from home, who goes on training, who goes on travel, who takes leave, who calls in sick, who slacks off, who receives recognition, who is on a performance plan...some will even take detailed daily notes. And when there is a complaint or there is a reason to conduct a workplace investigation or an audit, you can be sure that it is everyone for themselves and they think nothing of throwing you under the bus.
Member
Aug 8, 2010
379 posts
37 upvotes
skeet50 wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2017 10:21 pm
If this is true, you are in a very precarious situation should you take the leave. All leave has to be approved and signed off by your supervisor. This sort of under the table arrangement means that you and your supervisor are willing to commit fraud. Either you will submit incorrect leave requests or you will take leave without submitting leave requests. In both cases, these types of actions are easily uncovered during an audit and are grounds for termination.

One thing that you will quickly learn about working in the Federal Public Service is that it is a very competitive work place. People spend considerable time and effort monitoring who gets what promotions and who gets preferential treatment. Your colleagues will know who comes in late, who leaves early, who takes long coffee breaks, who works from home, who goes on training, who goes on travel, who takes leave, who calls in sick, who slacks off, who receives recognition, who is on a performance plan...some will even take detailed daily notes. And when there is a complaint or there is a reason to conduct a workplace investigation or an audit, you can be sure that it is everyone for themselves and they think nothing of throwing you under the bus.
Seriously?

Now you are making me wondering if joining the fed is really an excellent move. I thought fed jobs are stable and relax?
Sr. Member
Jan 15, 2017
701 posts
466 upvotes
Depends on where you work and what you mean by stable. There is often lots of turnover in the management ranks and getting a new boss on a regular basis is common. The mindset of the need to change is prevalent with lots of change initiatives and reorgs occurring. Reorgs could mean little more than a change in reporting relationship, a change in work location (my wife had 7 different work locations in 10 years), or a total rework where you face work force adjustment.

Classification is number one in the federal public service. The higher the classification level, the more money you make and there is a huge segment trying to get that higher classification. Some try through the promotion route (which are known as competitions), others through the Acting route, re-classifications, special assignments and projects. Some jump at opportunities that require travel just to get on travel status, while others go through the O/T route. Depends on your job and type of work and the options available.

And, as it is the gov't - everyone works under the umbrella of a program and that program will be audited at some point. CYA is the norm during the audit. Certain areas are easily audited - travel claims, overtime, attendance and leave requests, internet and email use, while others involve going through your work files and reams of paperwork. You will quickly learn the need to document to establish an audit trail runs deep in the gov't.
Member
Aug 8, 2010
379 posts
37 upvotes
skeet50 wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2017 9:42 am
Depends on where you work and what you mean by stable. There is often lots of turnover in the management ranks and getting a new boss on a regular basis is common. The mindset of the need to change is prevalent with lots of change initiatives and reorgs occurring. Reorgs could mean little more than a change in reporting relationship, a change in work location (my wife had 7 different work locations in 10 years), or a total rework where you face work force adjustment.

Classification is number one in the federal public service. The higher the classification level, the more money you make and there is a huge segment trying to get that higher classification. Some try through the promotion route (which are known as competitions), others through the Acting route, re-classifications, special assignments and projects. Some jump at opportunities that require travel just to get on travel status, while others go through the O/T route. Depends on your job and type of work and the options available.

And, as it is the gov't - everyone works under the umbrella of a program and that program will be audited at some point. CYA is the norm during the audit. Certain areas are easily audited - travel claims, overtime, attendance and leave requests, internet and email use, while others involve going through your work files and reams of paperwork. You will quickly learn the need to document to establish an audit trail runs deep in the gov't.
At least I know the turn over thing seems very true. In the course of the few short months that I was selected to was informed of LOO, the responsible person was transitioned from one person to another already.

so they audit your internet usage? :( guess good reason to have a cellphone big data plan....wow...I have been using the internet frequently, even visiting this site in my current contracting job...now I really have to stop that. will my manager see the report of my internet usage and sites I visited?
Sr. Member
Jan 15, 2017
701 posts
466 upvotes
Whether your manager sees the report will depend on your particular location and circumstances. If the dept, region, or manager has reason to believe that internet use is being abused, monitoring can occur. You will not be told this is happening as you are told right from day one that your computer use can be monitored. Monitoring domains and email addresses outside of the federal public service domain is an easy thing to monitor.

There can also be the situation where things are being monitored but nothing done about it until an event or situation presents itself that requires an investigation. That could be something that affects you personally or a colleague that affects the program/division.

Again, these are easy things to monitor and audit and it isn't a question of if they get monitored, but when.

FWIW: Using a personal cell phone at work to visit the internet is a glaring sign that you are not working on gov't business. Only use it when on a break.
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Jun 3, 2005
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Dildo, NL
abc123yyz wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2017 9:17 pm
You are right but you can be granted years of service based on experience. I was granted years of service at my company that gave me 5 weeks vacay
We're discussing Federal Govt. You say 'company'. Is that Private, or are you the only one in the Public Service who refers to your 'employer' as 'company'? I'm quite sure, all Servants refer to their employer either by name, or as 'department'. I have been led to believe that it was prior service (as detailed). However, you've mentioned a good scenario. I wonder just how subjective it could be - in that, if it is private world experience, could they credit you X years of time served?

I have always assumed service history goes hand in hand with salary, but I guess you could definitely go ahead.
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