Top Contract Questions

Top Things To Know About Your Contract


Here’s an at-a-glance look at portions of your Collective Agreement that residents most often inquire about.

Duty Hours


When calculating the 24+2 hours for a call period – does it start when your workday starts or at 8AM when the “standard” hospital work day starts?

The call period is calculated from the start of your workday. If you begin call at 6AM, your 24+2 would dictate that you must be finished your call by 8AM the following day.

There are some exceptions:

  • Anesthesia (1 hour of handover)
  • OB/GYN (1 hour of handover)
  • ICU/CCU (1 hours of handover)
  • ICU/CCU (1.5 hours of handover)
  • Surgical Program at University of Toronto (home by 12PM the next morning

What is PARO’s perspective on continuing to work post-call?

Click here to access PARO’s perspective on Relief of Duties Post-Call.

Can I be scheduled for call every weekend?

Residents must be free of all patient care duties, including scheduled weekend call, on at least two weekends (including Friday night/Saturday morning and the rest of Saturday and Sunday) over a 28-day or monthly call period.

When a resident is scheduled on Friday night/Saturday morning call in conjunction with a Sunday call, only the Sunday call will be deemed to be a weekend call day.

Can I be required to do multiple home or in-house calls consecutively (ex: Fri/Sa/Su home call)?

Per the terms of the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement, you cannot be scheduled to work two or more consecutive periods of call. PARO is aware that call may be scheduled consecutively on services of low intensity, and has not objected where it is the case that residents prefer this arrangement, and with the understanding that individual residents remain entitled under the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement to request not to be scheduled for consecutive days if they wish. Residents on these services also retain the right to be relieved of duties post-call and to claim  in-hospital call stipends should the call convert under the terms of the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement.

Can I be expected to be available by pager if I am not on call or scheduled for work?

You cannot be expected to be available by pager, or to be in the hospital or clinic if you are not scheduled for work.

How are call maximums calculated?

Call maximums are based on total days ON service. Vacation days, professional leave days and other time away from service is to be deducted before calculating

What are the call maximums for in-house call?

The in-house call maximum is 1 in 4.

Number of Days On ServiceNumber of Calls
19-225
23-266
27-297
30-348
35-389

For rotations > 1 month, in-hospital call maximums can be averaged over the length of the rotation (maximum averaging length is 3 months) with a maximum of 9 calls in any given month.

The total number of calls on a rotation longer than one month can be calculated by taking the total of number of days ON service divided by 4 and rounded to the nearest whole number (.5 rounds UP).

What are the call maximums for home call?

The home call maximum is 1 in 3.

Number of Days On Service Number of Calls
17-196
20-227
23-258
26-289
29-3010

You cannot be placed on home call on two consecutive weekends.

Home call cannot be averaged over multiple months.

What are the maximums for shift work?

On rotations where you are scheduled in shifts, for example Emergency Medicine or Obstetrics, the maximum number of hours = 60 hours / week. This includes other scheduled responsibilities (including academic half days). There must be a minimum of 12 hours off between shifts.

Are Friday evening emergency shifts considered a weekend shift?

Emergency medicine shifts until 11:59PM on Friday are NOT considered a weekend worked.

What is the formula for blended in-hospital and home call?

(Number of Home Calls) x 3 + (Number of In-House Calls) x 4 = NOT MORE than 30 over a 28 day period.

For rotations longer than 28 days, please see the table below.

Number of DaysFormula Total
2931
3032
3133
3234
3335
3436
3538

Call & Call Stipends


What are the different types of call stipends?

TypesRegular Call StipendsWeekend Call Stipends
In-hospital call stipend$127.60$140.36
Home call stipend (also applicable if on ‘back up’ call)$63.80$70.18
Qualifying shift stipend (only for shift-based services) $63.80$70.18

When am I entitled to be relieved of duties post-call?

Residents are entitled to be relieved of duties post-callif they:

  • Work in the hospital between 12AM and 6AM

OR

  • Work for at least 4 consecutive hours, with at least one hour after midnight

When am I entitled to an in-hospital call stipend?

Residents are entitled to the in-hospital call stipend if they:

  • Work in the hospital for at least four hours, of which more than one hour is past midnight but before 6AM.

I was on home call last night and was called into the hospital at 12AM until 2 AM, am I entitled to be relieved of duties post-call, and the in-hospital call stipend?

You are entitled to be relieved of duties post-call, but not the in-hospital call stipend, since you did not work at least 4 hours in hospital during the call period.

Do I receive a call stipend for being on “back-up” call?

Yes. Back-up call is home call, both for the purposes of call stipends and calculating call maximums.

I was not scheduled for call but had to round on patients over the weekend; will I receive a call stipend for this?

Yes. You are entitled to claim the home call stipend for rounding on a weekend day. Rounding on a weekend also counts as a weekend worked and counts as part of the maximum duty hours.

Am I entitled to a call stipend for working an evening family medicine clinic?

If you are working a family medicine evening clinic until 8PM no stipend is payable.

I am a family medicine resident carrying a pager for family medicine obstetrics call. Can I claim call stipends?

 Where a Family Medicine Resident carries a pager for obstetrics call to fulfill the requirements of the resident’s training program, you are only entitled to claim either the home or in-hospital call stipend depending on the time in attendance at a delivery. If you not required or expected to respond to the page (e.g. you can opt out of carrying the pager on certain evenings), there should be no call stipend paid. Please note that if you respond to a page and are required to go to the hospital to perform clinical care, the normal conversion rules apply for relief of duties post-call.

As Chief Resident, I often fill in gaps in the call schedule or provide coverage for colleagues that are ill. Am I entitled to call stipends or is this part of my responsibility as Chief?

Chief and Senior Admin Residents are entitled to call stipends, as any resident would be. In fact, all provisions of the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement apply to Chief and Senior Admin Residents – including call maximums.

PARO recognizes that Chief and Senior Admin Residents work very hard in their role and that it is not their responsibility to fill gaps in the call schedule or provide back-up coverage. If you are scheduled for ‘back-up’ call, you are entitled to the home call stipend (or in-hospital stipend if the call converts). Hospitals must provide you with resources to manage scheduling without violating the maximum duty hours for your residents or for yourself.

I’ve just received my call schedule and noticed that I am scheduled for +1 call over the maximum. Will I receive a stipend for working the call?

Hospitals cannot be required to pay stipends for calls in excess of the maximums. Importantly, residents

cannot be scheduled to work above the call maximums as outlined in the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement. We advise bringing the error to the attention of the scheduler to ensure that the extra call is removed. Please contact the PARO office should you require further assistance.

When is the call stipend deadline?

Call stipend claims must be submitted to the person(s) designated by the hospitals to receive such claims within 30 days following the end of the month in which the call was worked.

If I do an elective in another Canadian province, can I still claim call stipends?

When a resident undertakes an elective in another province, they still continue to be registered with an Ontario residency program and remain a member of PARO. They are paid through their home paycentre, and continue to submit call stipends as usual.

Travel Reimbursements


Will I be compensated for travel to the hospital when on home call?

Upon presentation of appropriate receipts to the hospital, residents on home call may be reimbursed up to $70 per month for taxi charges, if:

  • The resident is on home call and can respond within the hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee approved response time.
  • The resident does not have a parking pass.
  • The resident is called in for clinical duties after 6PM and before 6AM.

Will I be compensated for parking?

When residents are required to travel between sites or return to a site for clinical duties, the resident will be reimbursed for the cost of parking associated with the time spent at the second or subsequent sites, provided that the distance travelled between sites exceeds 1 km.

Vacation &  Professional Leave


How many weeks of vacation do I have each year?

Residents are entitled to 4 weeks of paid vacation each year.

  • A week of vacation is comprised of five (5) week days plus two (2) weekend days.
  • Your requests must be made in writing at least 4 weeks in advance of the request start day of the vacation. All requests must be confirmed or denied in writing within 2 weeks of the request being made. If denied, alternate times for vacation must be agreed to within 2 weeks. Though not required, we encourage residents to submit vacation requests as early as possible to optimize obtaining the dates they prefer.
  • Residents may request for their vacation to be taken in one (1) continuous period, in one or more segments of at least one (1) week in duration, or in segments of less than one week. The request shall be granted and can only be denied if  if professional and patient responsibilities cannot be met by the hospital.
  • Once vacation is granted, it cannot be revoked without the resident’s consent.
  • There can be no blanket policies restricting the amount of vacation in any rotation or on any service. Any blanket policies should be reported to PARO.
  • You cannot be post call on the first day of vacation.

How many professional leave days do I have each year?

Residents are entitled to 7 working days per year for educational purposes. Weekends are not considered ‘working days’ for this purpose. The request shall be scheduled provided professional and patient responsibilities can be met to the satisfaction of the Department Head. Residents are not required to gain approval for the specific activities that the professional leave days are being used for. The 7 working days of professional leave can be taken in any combination and do not need to be taken as 7 consecutive days.

Do I need to use a professional leave day to take the MCCQEII, USMLE, RCPSC, CFPC or other professional certification examinations?

No, you do not. The PARO- CAHO Collective Agreement provides residents with paid leave to attend Canadian and American professional certification examinations, including reasonable travel time. This leave time is in addition to the 7 Professional Leave days you receive each year.

Do I receive any additional time off to prepare for the CFPC or RCPSC Certification examination?

Residents can request to take up to 7 consecutive days off in any one of the four weeks preceding the CFPC or RCPSC certification exam. Residents may choose to split the 7 days between the written and oral components of the certification exam, or to take all 7 days in advance of one part of the examination.

Am I required to work call leading up my RCPSC or CFPC certification examination?

Subject to operational requirements, and at the request of a resident, a resident will not be scheduled for call duties for a period of up to 14 days prior to a CFPC or RCPSC certification exam. Residents may choose to split the 14 days between the written and oral components of the certification exam, or to take all 14 days in advance of one part of the examination.

Which statutory holidays are recognized under the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement?

  • New Year’s Day
  • Family Day
  • Easter Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • August Civic Holiday
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • One Floating Holiday*

What is the floating holiday?

  • A floating holiday is a paid holiday taken at a time chosen by the resident. A resident cannot be told when to take the floating holiday. The resident’srequest can only be denied if professional and patient responsibilities cannot be met by the hospital.

Will I have time off during the Christmas or New Year period?

All residents are entitled to 5 consecutive days off during the 12-day period encompassing Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. These 5 days account for Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Boxing Day and two weekend days. Residents must have Christmas or New Year’s Day off as part of their 5 days off. A resident cannot be post-call for any of the 5 days.

Residents do not get additional lieu days for working on the 3 statutory holidays during this period.

PARO does not set the dates for the holiday period. The Holiday Block dates (Christmas and New Year Period) are set by the program/service/PGME office.

What happens if I work a recognized holiday?

When a resident works any part of one of the recognized statutory holidays (other than Christmas, Boxing Day & New Year*), they are entitled to a lieu day to be taken at a time mutually convenient within 90 days of the day the holiday was worked. There is no minimum amount of time required, either spent on call or providing patient care, to qualify for the lieu day, as long as you are scheduled for call or work on all or part of that holiday.

*Residents do not receive additional lieu time for working on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day as those days are included as part of the 5 consecutive days off provided during the holiday block.

What if I observe a religious holiday that is not listed in the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement?

Programs have a duty to accommodate religious holidays not listed in the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement to the point of undue hardship (factors such as patient safety, service requirements and a resident’s training requirements will be considered). If you do need accommodation for religious observation, notify your scheduler as early as possible about your needs so that they can plan accordingly.

If I take a week of vacation during an Emergency Medicine rotation, are my shifts prorated?

The PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement does not require services to prorate shifts, as long as the sixty-hour weekly maximum is respected. As a reminder, this includes all clinical and mandatory academic responsibilities (i.e. academic half day).

Are blanket vacation policies permissible under the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement?

The PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement prohibits any blanket restrictions to your vacation on a rotation/service. Vacation requests can only be denied when necessary due to the hospital department not being able to meet professional and patient responsibilities for the specific time the vacation is requested for.

Is my program able to implement a ‘minimum number of days on service/rotation’ policy?

This would be a blanket policy and therefore not permissible. However, you will want to ensure that you are able to meet the educational objectives of your rotation. If your request can otherwise be granted, as patient care and professional responsibilities can be met, but you may have difficulty meeting the educational objectives for the rotation, you will want to consider that and discuss with your Program Director. Someimes, alternate arrangements can be made to ameliorate the impact.

The PARO office can help provide guidance in terms of what factors to consider when discussing the request with your Program Director.

Sick Days


Are there a set number of sick days residents can take?

Residents are not restricted to a set number of sick days. Article 14.1provides residents with salary and benefit continuance in the event they are ill and cannot report to work for a period of up to 6 months, or to the end of the resident’s appointment year, whichever occurs first. Individual sick days are covered under this entitlement.

What happens if I am unwell for longer than 6 months?

If you think you may be on sick leave for close to, or longer than, 6 months contact the PARO office early so we can assist you in your planning. If you are unable to return to work after the 6-month period or the end of your appointment year, you would apply for your LTD disability benefits.

Do I need to arrange for coverage at the hospital if I am away sick?

It is the hospital’s responsibility to arrange coverage if you are too ill to work. You cannot be required to arrange coverage, nor is your ability to stay home when you are sick dependent on the ability to find someone to cover for your absence.

Do I need to make up for missed work/call if I have been away sick?

If you are sick and unable to come to work, you are not required to make up for missed work.

For extended absences that may affect your ability to meet the educational requirements of the rotation you will want to speak with your Program Director.

Please contact PARO should you have further questions about salary and benefit continuance, or Long Term Disability.

Do I need to provide a doctor’s note to take a sick day?

There is no requirement for you to provide a doctor’s note under the terms of the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement. However, if you are away sick for an extended period of time (in our experience more than 7 days) you may be requested to provide a doctor’s note. The note would only state that you are sick and unable to work but would not include the details of your illness.

The Program Director may decide to discuss the absences with the resident if it is determined that the absences are impacting the resident’s ability to meet the educational objectives of the program, or to determine if there are accommodations that need to be made. A resident is not required to disclose a diagnosis or symptoms of an illness in a doctor’s note or in any discussions with the program generally – only what time is needed and whether a specific accommodation is required.

What if I have an emergency?

Emergencies happen. We encourage residents in these scenarios speak with their program directly so that appropriate accommodations can be made.

ACLS


Do I need to use professional leave days to attend a course such as ACLS?

Where residents are required to undertake training such as ACLS they should be provided the necessary paid time off to attend and complete such training. Residents should not be expected to use their professional leave or vacation time to attend.

Residents should not be required to complete ACLS training on their own time prior to the commencement of residency. PARO understands, however, that in some instances hospital/Universities have required residents to obtain ACLS prior to the commencement of working in the hospital, and when they do, residents should be provided with paid lieu time to complete the required training.

Who covers the cost of ACLS training?

Per Article 19.8 of the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement, ACLS training must be provided free of charge. The exception is if you have documentation that the hospital or University instructs you that they will reimburse for you to obtain your own training.

These provisions also apply to re-certification for ACLS when it is required.

Academic Half Days


If my academic half-day is cancelled,  is that considered protected time for self-study or am I expected to return to my home service?

The PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement provides that residents should be relieved to attend academic half days that are scheduled by the Program. However, if there are no academic half days scheduled or if one is cancelled, residents are to continue with their clinical duties for that day. The exception would be where the Program Director has advised the residents to use the time for ‘self directed study’.

Need More Help? 


PARO is your go-to resource for questions about the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement.

If you encounter an issue related to the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement, PARO’s professional staff can assist you in developing a strategy to address it. Here are just some of the ways we can help:

  • clarifying your entitlements under the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement
  • guidance on best practices to approach an issue or contract violation
  • draft emails for your use in communicating with Program Administrators, Program Directors, etc.
  • Reaching out to a Program Administrator and/or Program Director on your behalf

We tailor our guidance to your specific situation and concern, and all contact with the PARO Office is kept confidential.

Have a question? Email PARO at paro@paroteam.ca or call us at 1-877-979-1183.