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Public Servant sick days and their costs


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#1 PulpVictor

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:44 PM

http://www.ctvnews.c...-cfib-1.1064742

Let's talk about this.

#2 skeptic

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:54 PM

I used to know a guy in the public service in Ottawa who took at least one and often two Friday's every month off as "mental health days." Abuse of sick time in the public service is rampant. I think one of the reasons may be a lot of public servants hate their jobs and are only doing it for the pension. I wouldn't waste my life doing a job I dislike just because of the pension, but that's just me.

#3 Benezet

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:57 PM

http://www.ctvnews.c...-cfib-1.1064742

Let's talk about this.


Let's talk about a private broadcaster's absolutely one-sided article about a report by a private-sector lobby group.

#4 Candarius

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:58 PM

<-- works for government and has taken 8 sick days in 10 years (5 of those since becoming a father in 2010)

#5 MarkoJ

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:00 PM

As a former union employee and now self-employed this doesn't surprise me at all...actually I would have thought there would be a bigger spread than 13/8.

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#6 David Bratzer

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:22 PM

Well, this quote from the article irks me:

"I don't think anybody believes that public sector workers just get sick more often, yet something makes them feel entitled to more time off," said CFIB president and CEO Dan Kelly.

Sick time and personnel days are contractually negotiated. If the CFIB doesn't like the status quo, they should blame the management team / government that negotiated the contract... not the employees.

#7 MarkoJ

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

Well, this quote from the article irks me:

"I don't think anybody believes that public sector workers just get sick more often, yet something makes them feel entitled to more time off," said CFIB president and CEO Dan Kelly.

Sick time and personnel days are contractually negotiated. If the CFIB doesn't like the status quo, they should blame the management team / government that negotiated the contract... not the employees.


I agree. If you are offered something obviously you go for it...if I worked for the government I wouldn't be turning down "Flex Fridays" or any other perks.

I wonder if there is a difference in sick day consumption between organizations where it can be paid out versus where you have to use it up?

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#8 PulpVictor

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:42 PM

Let's talk about a private broadcaster's absolutely one-sided article about a report by a private-sector lobby group.


Not one-sided. But people with a strong viewpoint don't like to hear the other viewpoint.

#9 MarkoJ

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:51 PM

I have a feeling this thread is going to get ugly.....

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#10 PulpVictor

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:04 PM

<-- works for government and has taken 8 sick days in 10 years (5 of those since becoming a father in 2010)


Clearly you are in the minority if the numbers are correct. And, you should be thanked for your service.

#11 spanky123

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:05 PM

Well, this quote from the article irks me:

"I don't think anybody believes that public sector workers just get sick more often, yet something makes them feel entitled to more time off," said CFIB president and CEO Dan Kelly.

Sick time and personnel days are contractually negotiated. If the CFIB doesn't like the status quo, they should blame the management team / government that negotiated the contract... not the employees.


I think that the real point here is that many people in the private sector don't get PAID sick time. That is where the real differentiator is.

#12 PulpVictor

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:27 PM

I think that the real point here is that many people in the private sector don't get PAID sick time. That is where the real differentiator is.


Very true. I've been self-employed for a very long time, and cannot afford to take a sick day. I have two children, and when they were sick, I had to care for them, and not work, creating a deficit. We have too much government and not enough production. We need to recognize that we cannot afford this.

#13 G-Man

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:57 PM

This article is full of broad generalizations which has more intent to produce loathing of public servants than to portray the work that is actually done on the ground day to day. I have taken about three sick days in my 10 years service. The majority of my staff take one or two days a year. Sick time does not get rolled over at least not in BC. I don't even get to take my vacation (which does not accrue till retirement, another common misconception) because I and most public servants I know, are there to ensure that programs that people rely on work every day. A little respect would be fine, I would be even happy with complete indifference but I do not understand the complete loathing of public servants. I really don't.

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#14 PulpVictor

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

Loathing public servants? I don't get that from the article. I can't help loathing waste.

#15 LJ

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

. I have taken about three sick days in my 10 years service. The majority of my staff take one or two days a year. Sick time does not get rolled over at least not in BC. I don't even get to take my vacation (which does not accrue till retirement, another common misconception) because I and most public servants I know, are there to ensure that programs that people rely on work every day. .


With most union employees, if you don't use a bargained for benefit, in this case sick leave, you are chided by workmates. Over the course of a career some people get a couple of years more time off than others by using all their sick leave.

I don't understand your statement " I don't even get to take my vacation",
do you mean you can't get the time off or are you getting paid out for your vacation to enhance your pay packet?

I also don't understand the "not accrue till retirement" statement, are you saying if you don't take your leave and don't get paid out for it, you lose it until you retire?
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#16 North Shore

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

With most union employees, if you don't use a bargained for benefit, in this case sick leave, you are chided by workmates


Really? Over the course of 23 years working in two union shops (BCFMWU and now MGEU), I've never once had any of my co-workers comment on my sick-leave habits - nor have I overheard anyone saying anything negative about "Smith - he doesn't take enough sick time.."

Let's not forget that those sick days were bargained for in negotiations - things (pay raises?) were given up to get them. And they allow workers the freedom to not have to worry about their paycheque suffering along with their head cold..
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#17 Benezet

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

About six months ago, a Treasury Board report on absenteeism among federal workers was in the news.... note the differences between it and the CFIB report:

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...ic-service.html

And, here's a related article from around then, with some expert opinion on the reasons behind the increase in absenteeism:

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...ervice-why.html

#18 Bingo

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:51 PM

I worked for the government back in the 70's and 80's, and at that time I think you could bank 1/2 day per month of sick time. If you didn't use it you accumulated it in case you had a REAL need for it. If you didn't use it you got paid out for it when you left the government.

Once that feature was done away with, and you could not accumulate the days, employees made sure they used them up on a regular basis. Sometimes they would check around to see who's turn it was to be off on a Friday or Monday.

#19 pherthyl

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:58 PM

With most union employees, if you don't use a bargained for benefit, in this case sick leave, you are chided by workmates.


Any evidence for this at all? I'm non-union but arguably public sector and have never heard anything like this. I don't buy it. Lazy people take their sick days whether they are sick or not. Principled people only take them when they're sick.

In the private sector a company can get rid of free-loaders that use sick days like vacation days. In a union environment those people can't be penalized, so some people take full advantage.

#20 pherthyl

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:01 PM

I worked for the government back in the 70's and 80's, and at that time I think you could bank 1/2 day per month of sick time. If you didn't use it you accumulated it in case you had a REAL need for it. If you didn't use it you got paid out for it when you left the government.


I think the banking is an OK policy, but being paid out? Insanity and completely against the spirit of sick days. The whole point is that people should not get penalized for being sick. By paying out people that don't take them you're essentially penalizing those that are genuinely sick, so you might as well not have sick days and pay everyone a bit more.

They should allow banking but require a doctor's note for any leave over a few days.

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