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Public Servant sick days and their costs


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#61 UDeMan

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:11 PM

Currently work for the Feds. Every Public Sector employee is different. Provincial, Feds, Municipal, etc. There are different rules depending on which collective agreement you are under.

For my group, here are the details.

You get 15 paid sick days per year. If they are not used, they accumulate. We are not allowed to cash out/convert them when we retire or leave.

They are allowed to accumulate for those people that need long term sick leave and not EI sick leave.

In my office you see everything. People that call in sick almost every week to those that are dying of cancer and still come to work every day.

#62 Dimitrios

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:26 PM

Currently work for the Feds. Every Public Sector employee is different. Provincial, Feds, Municipal, etc. There are different rules depending on which collective agreement you are under.

For my group, here are the details.

You get 15 paid sick days per year. If they are not used, they accumulate. We are not allowed to cash out/convert them when we retire or leave.

They are allowed to accumulate for those people that need long term sick leave and not EI sick leave.

In my office you see everything. People that call in sick almost every week to those that are dying of cancer and still come to work every day.


This. There is no 'average public servant'. Every department is different, and supervisor discretion is usually such that there is ample variation even within departments.

Having worked for the feds for 5 years and now the province for the last 2, I have never had any issue with the rules governing unionized public servants, save one: it is way too hard to fire people from the federal public service. I worked with a couple of clowns around me who should have been fired long ago, yet they were milking a system they knew too well, wasting everyone's time and resources. I heard that at least a couple of these jokers were canned in the last round of cuts, although I don't know the details.

Having seen a few colleagues fired in the past year (for relatively minor offenses), this appears to be much less of a problem in the BC public service, though again, I wouldn't expect consistency between departments or ministries on this.

As for sick leave, a close friend of mine is a nurse and was describing the huge discrepancy in taking sick leave between weekend and weekday shifts (ie - way more sick days taken on weekends). We both remarked that it was obvious this was abuse. I never saw anything remotely so bad at any workplace I've been involved in. When I take sick days I usually do a good deal of work from home anyway; as a previous poster noted, when you're managing a program, the show must go on somehow whether you're feverish or not.

#63 pherthyl

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:39 PM

Please inform me if that is indeed not the case, and you just lose the vacation time with no compensation, which is what you implied.


That;s how it works where I work (non-profit org). We get vacation time, but if we don't use it it's gone. There is no option for a payout and the most we can bring over to the next year is 5 days. No bonuses either. So there are lots of perks that are more common in the private sector.

#64 pherthyl

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:44 PM

As for sick leave, a close friend of mine is a nurse and was describing the huge discrepancy in taking sick leave between weekend and weekday shifts (ie - way more sick days taken on weekends). We both remarked that it was obvious this was abuse. I never saw anything remotely so bad at any workplace I've been involved in. When I take sick days I usually do a good deal of work from home anyway; as a previous poster noted, when you're managing a program, the show must go on somehow whether you're feverish or not.


Nurses are the worst! A friend of mine is one and if she wants to take a day off she will try to take a vacation day or trade shifts, but if that doesn't work she calls in sick. It's obvious to them because they know she tried to take the day off already, but there's nothing they can do about it.

#65 PulpVictor

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:02 AM

Umm, bank bailouts, sewage treatment plants, olympic games, stadium roofs, ornamental ponds, corporate welfare, oversized military, infrastructure costs for the 2nd biggest country, medicare - pick your pony. Left or Right, there's all sorts of things that a person could point to and say: "That's where the debt started!"


1. Not one Canadian bank has been bailed out. You are very confused.
2. we don't have a sewage treatment plant
3. Prove to me that Canada has corporate 'welfare'
4. We don't have an over sized military. If you prefer to relenquish our sovreignty and depend on the US military...ok
5. Our infrastructure is failing...where are those costs

Our public debt is directly relative to the layer upon layer of government. Period

#66 spanky123

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:16 AM

That;s how it works where I work (non-profit org). We get vacation time, but if we don't use it it's gone. There is no option for a payout and the most we can bring over to the next year is 5 days. No bonuses either. So there are lots of perks that are more common in the private sector.


You should check with employment standards then. Everyone is entitled to vacations. If use don't use them they carry over. Your employer cannot require that you get paid out.

A vacation day is taxed the same way if you get paid out or take the time. If you consistently elect to get paid out your vacation time then your overall income would increase since you are working more days but the tax rate is the same.

#67 PulpVictor

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:00 AM

The story may seem like credible news to you, but it merely quotes a report prepared by a "research analyst" for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business — and as you know, the CFIB exists to lobby governments for low taxes for business and deregulation in favour of business.

The story does not include any objective analysis by anyone, and the only commentary is a quote of an insult from the head the CFIB toward public-sector workers en masse.

As for the CFIB report itself, its conclusion sets aside the data and moves directly to speculation, throwing in the inflammatory phrase 'pure entitlement' — yet the only thing the data shows is that public-sector workers take a few more sick days a year than others.

I'm sorry, but I can't find credibility in something that doesn't try to examine why something happens.


The data used in the report are from StatsCan.

#68 Sparky

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:05 AM

Let me remind you boys and girls that this sandbox has been built for you so that you can have a venue to post respectful and topical comments. Your moderators have enjoyed not having to delete comments for quite some time now.......and those of you that "get it" have made our work pleasurable.

Let's see if we can make it all the way past Christmas without having to do it again.

#69 Sparky

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:23 AM

Being an employer, this topic has interest for me. In our company, an employee is credited with a certain amount of "sick time hours" calculated monthly (and it belongs to them). If that employee has the flue and can't make it in....they are paid....even if they overdraw their account from time to time as future months go towards repaying the deficit.

Because our business is slow during the week between Christmas and New Years, it has become tradition to use up any sick time accumulated for a vacation with their families. If for some reason they want to save that time for a longer vacation in the summer, they simply opt to do so.

The benefit to the employee is rather obvious, the benefit to the employer is being able to schedule the event. Our employees only stay home when they are truly sick.

#70 PulpVictor

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:25 AM

If you are talking about Public Service or Canada Pensions, that is how the system works. The working person helps to pay for the retired person. My father had only paid in to the Canada Pension plan after it was introduced, for 12 years, and got a pension. It was my generation that contributed to his pension, and now my children will help pay for mine.

Why do you think you will "never be able to retire"?


I am 61, a widow, I lost everything I had saved in the market crash. Here are StatsCan numbers for pensions:

http://www.statcan.g...120525a-eng.htm

#71 Benezet

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:55 AM

The data used in the report are from StatsCan.


Yes I know, thanks. The conclusions and recommendations are what I find questionable, and those are by the CFIB.

#72 pherthyl

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:07 AM

1. Not one Canadian bank has been bailed out. You are very confused.
2. we don't have a sewage treatment plant
3. Prove to me that Canada has corporate 'welfare'
4. We don't have an over sized military. If you prefer to relenquish our sovreignty and depend on the US military...ok
5. Our infrastructure is failing...where are those costs

Our public debt is directly relative to the layer upon layer of government. Period


Surely you are joking.
The public sector in BC has been shrinking for 20 years: http://www.policyalt...blic_sector.pdf
BC Public Sector is 421,000 people as of March 2012. 30 years ago it was 288,522.
So the public sector has expanded by 46% in 30 years. Scary right?
Except that population has increased by 63% in that same period so the public sector is serving significantly more people per worker now than back then.
(CANSIM 183-0002)

Wages and salaries of the entire public sector is actually 52% of the BC budget. It is you who is confused, and provably so.

#73 pherthyl

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:11 AM

Because our business is slow during the week between Christmas and New Years, it has become tradition to use up any sick time accumulated for a vacation with their families.

The benefit to the employee is rather obvious, the benefit to the employer is being able to schedule the event. Our employees only stay home when they are truly sick.


These two things don't match. So they use sick days as vacation, but only when they're truly sick?

Also sorry about the post, just keeping you on your toes.

#74 jonny

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:36 AM

[quote name='pherthyl']Of course it's a perk, but you said it is bonus days off. It isn't.
In your example, Job B might have an 8 hour day 5 days a week, while Job A has an 8 hour 53 minute day with every second friday off. Both jobs have a 40 hour week on average.

The only bonus is flexibility.[/quote]

When my government friends work the same or shorter hours than I do, I consider getting every second Friday off a bonus.

quote=pherthyl;204866]How is that limited to government? Nothing stops the private sector from doing the same thing. Most places don't like it because they want people there during the work week, but in jobs where that is not required it can happen.[/quote]

I have no knowledge of any private employer offering flex days. I can't even recall seeing a private sector job posting in BC that was offering flex days.

#75 tedward

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:04 AM

I'm not changing my facts or argument there Mr. Condescension.

It is a bonus in the respect that it is a working term above and beyond what the employer would normally be expected to provide to the employee.

Wow, it is hard for me not to appear condescending when you clearly are not understanding what is being written. I cannot make this any plainer without recourse to a remedial English lecture.

Flex time is NOT a bonus because it is NOT, "above and beyond what the employer would normally be expected to provide to the employee." It does not change the amount of pay that the employee receives so it is NOT a bonus. It does not reduce the amount of time worked by the employee so it is NOT a bonus.

By your logic, I am receiving a "bonus" because my employer permits me to work Monday to Friday during the day and I get two days off in a row for the weekend. It may be a perk but it is not a bonus. Sorry if the distinction between the two concepts is too elusive.

Lake Side Buoy - LEGO Nut - History Nerd - James Bay resident


#76 PulpVictor

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:05 AM

Surely you are joking.
The public sector in BC has been shrinking for 20 years: http://www.policyalt...blic_sector.pdf
BC Public Sector is 421,000 people as of March 2012. 30 years ago it was 288,522.
So the public sector has expanded by 46% in 30 years. Scary right?
Except that population has increased by 63% in that same period so the public sector is serving significantly more people per worker now than back then.
(CANSIM 183-0002)

Wages and salaries of the entire public sector is actually 52% of the BC budget. It is you who is confused, and provably so.


If you would follow the actual thread before rendering your comments, you would find that I was referencing North Shore's comment about NATIONAL DEBT, of which $137 billion is pension plan liabilities. And no, I am not joking.

#77 Sparky

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:09 AM

^^^ If one of our employees decides for themselves to work aditional time, they can do what they want with that time. Take time off, add it to banked or sick time, or add it to vacation time.

If they want to be paid for it.....if they chose to work extra on their own accord, they get paid straight time. If it was mandated by the company, they get paid in accordance with Employment Standards....the minimum of which is time and a half.

#78 pherthyl

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:19 AM

When my government friends work the same or shorter hours than I do, I consider getting every second Friday off a bonus.


It's not relative to you, it's relative to their job without flex days. The benefit they have is a shorter work week (usually 35 or 37.5 hours a week).

#79 PulpVictor

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:56 AM

Federal employment only accounts for 15% of total Canadian government employment. If we consider that 15% of government pensions are short almost $200 Billion. The total liability to taxpayers is in excess of $1.3 Trillion.

This is in addition to the $555 Billion that Canadians have already pumped into public sector pension plans.

#80 pherthyl

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:00 PM

Easiest way to kill a thread: delete half the posts.
There were no insults in those posts, just some heated debate.

You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

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