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Article 47 - Educational Leave

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47.01The Government of the Northwest Territories recognizes the need to develop a Public Service capable of effectively and efficiently administering Government policy and programs. The skills and knowledge required to deliver programs can be recruited or developed from within the organization. Education Leave provides a means to meet organizational requirements through manpower planning programs as established for the Public Service or individual departments.



For the purposes of this Article, Education Leave is defined as leave granted, with Government assistance, to undertake full-time post-secondary studies for a period of not less than one academic year at a recognized university, community college, or technical institute.

"Academic Year" equals two (2) full program semesters, completed in succession, or completed within a twelve (12) month period.

NOTE:This Article does not apply to Leave Without Pay which may be granted to employees for education or other purposes.


47.03All applicants for Education Leave must satisfy the following requirements:
 (a)An employee must have three (3) years of continuous service with the Government of the Northwest Territories prior to the commencement of any Education Leave. This requirement may be waived in unusual circumstances.

No employee may be granted Education Leave unless there is departmental evidence of satisfactory performance and potentials supported by a current performance appraisal.



47.04All Education Leave includes assistance for tuition, travel costs, and one full removal in and out for the purposes of Education Leave.  Allowances in lieu of salary may also be paid to employees on Education Leave. The level of assistance paid will be determined by the following criteria:
 (a)Education Leave Without Allowance in Lieu of Salary

Basic assistance, as outlined above, will be paid to employees who request Education Leave to further their post-secondary education with the objective of obtaining qualifications that are generally relevant to present or future requirements of the Territorial Public Service.


Education Leave with Partial Allowance in Lieu of Salary

A minimum allowance equivalent to 50% (fifty percent) of present salary will be paid to a candidate, when, in order to make the most economical use of existing manpower and to capitalize on accumulated experience, knowledge and capability, a Deputy Head selects the employee to meet an identified need rather than recruit outside the Territorial Public Service. Recognizing that 50% (fifty percent) of salary may prove a financial burden to employees who will be continuing their studies beyond a one (1) year program, a 10% (ten percent) increase will be added to the allowance in lieu of salary in each consecutive year of study, up to a maximum of 80% (eighty percent).

Education Leave With Full Allowance in Lieu of Salary

An allowance equivalent to 100% (one hundred percent) of present salary will be paid to employees on Education Leave, when:
  (i)An employee whose skills become technically obsolete requires retraining to satisfactorily carry out his/her work.
  (ii)An employee agrees to undertake a full course of studies at the request of his/her Deputy Head when qualified persons cannot be recruited to carry out essential work.


47.05(a)Applications for Education Leave will be accepted by the Employer between January 1st and February 15th of each calendar year. The Employer will also receive applications between September 15th and September 30th, for employees who wish to begin Education Leave during the winter session of the university year.
 (b)Each application will include details of courses sought and the full intended length of Education Leave. The application must be endorsed by the Deputy Head of the sponsoring Department and forwarded to the Employer to be screened and processed.
 (c)The Deputy Head of the sponsoring Department must guarantee a position within the Department, or have a guarantee from a Deputy Head of another Department for a position, at a level not lower than the one presently held, to which the employee will be assigned upon return from Education Leave.
 (d)Prospective applicants will be interviewed by a Review Board, comprised of the Deputy Secretary of Human Resource Management or his delegate and the Deputy Head of the sponsoring Department, to determine justification for the leave and the level of assistance sought.
 (e)Travel costs and arrangements for the initial interview will be the responsibility of the sponsoring Department.
 (f)The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment will forward the recommendation of the Review Board to the Executive Council for approval of:
  (i)the granting of the leave;
  (ii)the level of assistance to be paid.
 (g)Education Leave will be granted on a one year basis. A program of studies that requires a longer term will be resubmitted annually between January 1st and February 15th. This provision will provide the opportunity for counselling, and to assess whether satisfactory progress is being made in the studies undertaken.  It will also provide the Deputy Head with the opportunity to re-evaluate departmental needs in line with reorganization or other considerations.
 (h)Successful applicants will be required to sign and abide by the terms and conditions of the Leave of Absence Agreement with the Employer.
 (i)Proof of acceptance at a recognized university or community college must be submitted, along with a course outline, before proceeding on Education Leave.

Documentation and removal arrangements will be coordinated by the Employer.

 (k)Employees recommended for a consecutive year of Education Leave will normally return to regular work assignments between academic years.  Travel costs and housing accommodation for temporary work assignments will be provided by the Employer and allowed at single status only.
 (l)Employees on Education Leave cease to earn leave credits, except for any period of temporary employment.
 (m)Deductions based on earnings will drop correspondingly with reduced earnings. 
47.06Where a request for leave under this Article has been submitted by an employee, the Employer shall, within a reasonable period from the date of the employee's submission, advise the employee whether his/her request has been approved or denied.