Summer is quickly approaching and members are beginning to plan and schedule vacations. It is important to follow some basic advice to ensure that your time off is granted, especially before making reservations and purchasing tickets for travel.

It never fails, that many of our members’ vacations are cancelled or rescheduled and family plans are disrupted due to requests not being entered or processed properly by management. Sometimes we take for granted that a note would be given to the proper person or a date was written down on a calendar only to find out, when it is too late, that it was never received or approved.

Make sure to follow some easy steps that should resolve any misunderstandings and grief later.

1. Put your vacation request in writing. Include the exact days and dates that you need off. Include a notice that you are making travel reservations and give yourself plenty of travel time to get to the airport.

2. Give your request to the proper person in management. Do not simply drop it off in a mail slot or place it on someone’s desk.

3. Keep a copy for yourself along with the name of the person you gave it to and a time and date. Make notes on your copy that the time off was actually approved and by whom.

4. Follow up a couple of weeks prior to the scheduled time off and remind management to schedule you off on vacation. (This will give you assurance that everything goes as planned and that they didn’t forget your request).

5. Call your union representative immediately if a planned vacation is cancelled. They will be in a much better position to assist you if you have followed the steps that I have outlined. Be prepared to show copies of the request and any ticketing information or reservations to help make your case.

Have a good vacation.