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Old 04-29-2008, 12:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Canadian Union Wants More Pay For Workers With Blackberrys

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Canadian Union Wants More Pay For Workers With Blackberrys

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
April 29, 2008 12:16 p.m.

OTTAWA (AFP)--Canadian bureaucrats' use of BlackBerry mobile devices and similar gadgets has become so prevalent that their union on Tuesday called for extra wages for workers connected 24/7 to their office.

"We have old clauses in our collective agreement that cover standby pay, but these clauses have to be updated because these devices have changed the definition of work and being called after-hours," Ed Cashman, regional vice president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, told AFP.

"If you have a BlackBerry, you are essentially available 24 hours, seven days per week," he said. "If you want that degree of availability, you have to pay people for it."

Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion's (RIMM) hugely popular BlackBerry mobile devices combine telephone, email and Internet capabilities.

Reliance on BlackBerries is so fierce they've been jokingly dubbed "CrackBerries," in a reference to a tendency for their owners to compulsively check and send email as if it were an addiction.

The federal government has told the union "they're willing to talk to us about this issue," said Cashman.

But pundits warned the union may get more than it bargained for, as workers could be expected to check their BlackBerry when they should be relaxing or spending time with family.

"These people are interrupting their lives," Carleton University professor Linda Duxbury told the Ottawa Citizen newspaper. "I wouldn't want to legitimize it by (having employers) say, 'We are entitled to send them (staff) messages because they are being compensated for it.'

"How can you compensate someone for their divorce, the fact that their kids hate them or don't know them?"

According to reports, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration department recently banned the overnight use of BlackBerries because of their overuse.

An auditor's report this week also found that BlackBerry use within the Natural Resources department was growing at a swift and unbridled pace, with 20% of them given to employees with no job-related need for carrying one.

Some 14 million people around the world use RIM's Blackberry. The company has said it aims to sign up another 2.2 million by the end of the next quarter.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (life goes on! yes it is tough)

This is why only management at ATT can have a BB and be connected to BES. Union rules stipulate that if we did they would have to pay us there no BES access for sales reps. Dang union
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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anybody with any kind of phone is available 24 hours a day as long as the phone is on
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (life goes on! yes it is tough)

Yup can always power it of or turn wireless signal off. That's why I have 2 BB's 1 for work and 1 for personal.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey EZ, when did you hit Mensa status? I might just be unaware, but that looks relatively new.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Donxxx8217;t most companies only deploy Blackberries to employeexxx8217;s with exempt status anyway? There is no over time or PTO for Exempt status employeexxx8217;s there for overtime does not apply. Essentially Executives or Exempt Employeexxx8217;s are always on call. This is why they come in late and leave early or get to work from home. Maybe labor laws are different in Canada.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamcrn View Post
Don’t most companies only deploy Blackberries to employee’s with exempt status anyway? There is no over time or PTO for Exempt status employee’s there for overtime does not apply. Essentially Executives or Exempt Employee’s are always on call. This is why they come in late and leave early or get to work from home. Maybe labor laws are different in Canada.
Check the article -- government bureaucrats.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hey EZ, when did you hit Mensa status? I might just be unaware, but that looks relatively new.
A few days ago. Not new I am just the second to obtain that level. Excluding mods but they have their own special names
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