Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
November 5, 2013

Sick Leave: Let’s Compare Apples with Apples

Comparing Apples with Oranges

In the on-going Harper government attacks on unions, Tony Clement TBS President, is comparing apples with oranges when it comes to sick leave.

Last June, Clement stated that the Harper’s government intends to overhaul the way public servants can take sick leave in a way that will benefit the government and the taxpayer. He mentioned that federal workers take an average of 18.2 days of paid and unpaid sick leave per year compared to 6.7 in the private sector. Harper’s government hasn’t been transparent with its data. On top of that, he compared apples with oranges.


Comparing Apples with Apples

Last September, Statistics Canada released a brief: Understanding public-private sector differences in work absences. On page 3, when comparing the number of days lost, when “private sector employees had similar union, gender and age characteristics as their counterparts in the public sector, the private–public difference in the number of days lost would be 0.8 instead of 4.1.”

Sick leave is a benefit in our collective agreement, which the union gained for its members many years ago. The Harper government should look more so at issues that are the root cause for the use of sick leave, such as the rise in mental health issues in the workplace.

Other information about sick leave:

From PSAC:
Federal government workers and sick leave: the facts
Government needs to stop misleading Canadians about sick leave
PSAC tells Treasury Board President to stop public service bashing

From UNE:
So what about sick leave, anyway?
Brace yourselves: they’re coming for it!

From CEIU:
CEIU National President responds to an article published in Maclean Magazine
PSAC and other federal unions writes letter to Treasury Board President Tony Clement
Mental Health Resource Web page

Or even Mental Health Commission of Canada Web site

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