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OPP On-Call Process

The University and the Union have agreed to allow bargaining unit members in the Office of the Physical Plant to be placed “On-Call” to allow for a more effective response to events that occur during non-standard working hours.  The wording of the agreement is contained in the University/Union Contract under Article 19.5.  This document provides guidance on the specific processes that will be used to administer On-Call.

Who Will Be Affected?

The crafts and skill levels (hereafter called craft) that will be placed On-Call will be determined by management.  That determination will be made considering the frequency of call-outs and the criticality of quick response to those calls.

What Hours Will I Be On-Call?

The Controlling Supervisor of the affected craft will determine the On-Call schedule. For the purpose of this process, the Controlling Supervisor is the supervisor assigned oversight responsibility of the craft/skill (i.e. rotates OT for the craft/skill, oversees the 6-month vacation scheduling process, etc.).

How Will On-Call Assignments Be Scheduled?

On-Call schedules will be developed in a manner similar to the vacation scheduling process and will be scheduled in 6-month blocks. 

Each On-Call assignment will last for one calendar week, Monday through Sunday. The On-Call assignments will be selected in seniority order.  Employees may volunteer for additional assignments, up to twice the number required, with the agreement of the person who would have had that On-Call assignment.  Once the selections are made the schedule will be available electronically for all to see (go to OPP Insite intranet at Technical Service Resources).

The number of available On-Call assignments in the 6-month block will depend on the number of employees within the craft.  Extra weeks would be selected by seniority.  If there are no volunteers for the extra weeks, the least senior employees would each take an extra week.  Example:  The 6-month block contains 26 weeks.  If there are 6 employees in the craft, each would have 4 On-Call assignments and there would be two extra weeks of On-Call.  If no one volunteers, the two least senior employees would be required to each take an extra week of On-Call.

When a craft has multiple technicians on-call, there will be priorities established during the scheduling process.  For example: If a craft has two technicians on-call at the same time, one position will be established as the primary and will be called first for every event.  There will be a secondary position and that technician will be called for events that require two technicians.    A technician can only occupy one position for a given week.  Primary positions will be offered first in seniority order followed by secondary positions. The controlling supervisor will fill positions using seniority order and they will ensure each technician receives an equal share of positions (extra positions will be addressed as stated above). 

Normal Scheduling Process

  • The Controlling Supervisor will meet with the craft employees and collect assignments in seniority order. 
  • Vacant assignments will be filled by first asking for volunteers; then filled in reverse seniority order.
  • A draft schedule will be posted. Volunteering for additional assignments (up to twice the number required) can occur once the draft is posted. The Controlling Supervisor is advised of the additional assignment and agreement from both employees on the reassignment.
  • When the draft is finalized, the schedule will not be modified except as specified in Can the Schedule be Altered Once it is Published?

Emerging Needs Scheduling Process

In certain circumstances, emerging coverage needs will necessitate scheduling On-Call shifts in addition to those identified during the normal scheduling process.  Shifts for emerging needs during the 6-month On-Call period will be handled among employees within the craft in work unit seniority order.

Can the Schedule Be Altered Once it is Published?

After the final schedule is posted, employees may request to switch an On-Call assignment once during each scheduling period.  It is the responsibility of the employee to identify another employee who is willing to switch assignments and to submit the request to the Controlling Supervisor; the approval of which shall not unreasonably be denied.

If the employee is unavailable (as described in the section How Will Employees Call Off for On-Call Shifts?) during a scheduled On-Call assignment, it will be the Controlling Supervisor’s decision as to how to cover the On-Call assignment absence. Options include:

  • Scheduling overtime.
  • Relying on standard call-outs.
  • Accepting volunteers.
  • Scheduling additional On-Call assignments
  • Forcing the junior employee, with 2 week notice
  • Assigning an employee that joined the trade and grade after the On-call schedule was established.

Employees not available for an On-Call assignment for any reason will not receive On-Call pay for that assignment.

How Does On-Call Relate to Call-Outs?

Typically, if there is a call-out during a scheduled On-Call period, the person On-Call will be the first person called.  For extreme emergency events requiring immediate attention, the Work Reception Center (WRC) and/or OPP Supervisors can contact the person that is most readily available to respond to the event.  That person may not necessarily be the one that is in On-Call status.

If the On-Call employee is already on campus in response to a call-out, it will be the responsibility of the WRC or OPP Supervisor to determine if the event can wait to be handled by the On-Call employee or if additional call-outs are needed.

How Does On-Call Affect Scheduled Overtime?

On-Call status will not impact the employee’s ability to volunteer for rotated overtime. If the On-Call employee is already on campus due to overtime and a call-out is necessary, the On-Call employee will be reassigned to the issue requiring the call, if possible.  Otherwise, the WRC or OPP Supervisor will determine if additional call-outs are needed.

How Will OPP Reach the On-Call Employee?

During the On-call scheduling process each employee will declare a contact phone number.  The employee can select one of the following:

  • The employees work phone
  • A personal phone
  • An on-call phone to be provided by the WRC

In the event of a call-out, the WRC will call the designated phone.   In the event the phone is not immediately answered, the WRC will:

  • Make second call attempt.
  • Text the phone.
  • Make call attempt to phone number in Overtime Event System provided for call-out.

If there is no response from the employee after these attempts, the employee is considered to have unapproved unavailability.  WRC will notify the Controlling Supervisor for a decision as to how to cover the On-Call assignment absence.  The employee is subject to the disciplinary process due to unapproved unavailability.

What are the Conditions for Being On-Call?

  • Must be available and able to work (no alcohol or other intoxicating substances).
  • Must remain within 60 minutes (50 miles) travel time from work.
  • Must have the On-Call cell phone powered on and in their possession at all times during the On-Call period, or are at their alternate phone number as permitted in section “Where Do Employees Pick Up Their On-Call Cell Phone?”
  • Must answer the call or text immediately and arrive on campus within 60 minutes of the call.

How Will Employees Call Off for On-Call Shifts?

Employees who are too ill to respond, or experience an emergency (such as a family member needing to go to the hospital), during their On-Call shift must receive approval to not be On-Call.  Approval to be excused from On-Call occurs when the employee personally discusses their situation (messages are not acceptable) with persons in this order:

  1. The employee first contacts and discusses their situation with their Controlling Supervisor to be granted approval for the call off. 
  2. If the Controlling Supervisor is unavailable, the employee next calls and talks to the supervisor’s manager to be granted approval for the call off. 
  3. If the manager is unavailable, the employee calls the WRC (865-4731) to be granted approval for the call off.

The Controlling Supervisor or manager will notify WRC if they approve the employee to call off, and they will inform WRC as to how to cover the On-Call assignment.

Employee notification of personal illness must be made a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the On-Call shift.

Employee notification of an emergency must be made as soon as the employee becomes aware of their inability to respond to calls due to the emergency situation. Typical family care arrangements need to be made well in advance of an employee’s On-Call assignment.

Employees will not be paid for On-Call shifts for which they are unable to respond due to illness or emergencies.

How Will Employees be Paid for Being On-Call?

Employees will be paid for the time they are On-Call in accordance with University/Union Contract Article 19.5.  If called in while On-Call, employees will receive call-out pay in accordance with Article 17.8 Call-Outs, in the University-Union agreement, in addition to the On-Call pay.

Additional Responsibilities

These are additional or clarified responsibilities for the On-Call Process.


  • It is ultimately the employee’s responsibility to ensure they are prepared to take their On-Call assignment and respond when called.
  • The employee will provide their desired contact number.
  • The employee will check-in with the WRC when they arrive on campus.
  • The employee will check-out with the WRC before leaving campus.

Controlling Supervisor

  • The Controlling Supervisor for the craft will confirm with the employee prior to the start of the On-Call assignment that the employee is prepared for their On-Call assignment and responsibilities.


  • The manager will serve as a point of contact in the event the Controlling Supervisor cannot be reached or is otherwise unavailable.

Work Reception Center

  • WRC will provide a phone upon request.


2021-08-18 (updates address use of on-call phone, and multiple techs in the same trade on-call during the same period.)