Together, we can save sick leave. The Conservative government wants to strip away sick leave rights and is thinking of contracting out the management of the sick leave system. We say that unless this government wants to talk about improving what we already have, we aren’t interested.
Here are some facts around what Tony Clement is saying about sick leave in the federal public sector
Reality check: Tony Clement’s numbers don’t add up – An honest comparison of public and private sector sick leave points to problems in the private sector. Many private sector workers aren’t paid when they’re sick so aren’t counted as “off sick.” Statistics Canada reports that once gender, age and unionization are taken into account, there’s little difference between sick leave rates in the public and private sectors.
Reality check: Collective agreements work – If there’s a problem with sick leave, management needs to take responsibility. Our collective agreements give management all the tools it needs to ensure sick leave is used responsibly.
Reality check: Sick leave is an insurance plan for when you’re sick – Sick leave is an insurance plan for when you’re sick, not a benefit for when you’re healthy. Thanks to sick leave benefits, PSAC members have been able to return to work healthy, instead of staying at work sick.
Reality check: Tony Clement is inflating the cost of sick leave – Unused sick leave isn’t a “perk” or a multi-billion dollar “liability”. Federal government workers can’t cash out unused sick days. Most workers aren’t replaced when they’re sick and they just work harder to catch up when they are back.
Reality check: Healthy workplaces mean better services for Canadians – Workers should not be going to work when they are sick. It impedes recovery, puts co-workers at risk of illness, and undermines our ability to deliver vital services.
Let’s focus on promoting healthier workplaces and ensuring workers who are sick get the help they need when they need it – so that they can continue to deliver quality public services to Canadians.
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