Get Well Soon
Federal workers take an average of 18 sick days per year, almost 4 full work weeks. How does that compare to you?
According to a confidential internal report obtained by the CBC, it's about 2 and a half times the rate in the private sector and almost 2 times the rate in the rest of the public sector. What possible affliction is sweeping through federal buildings? Is it a contagion?
SICK AND TIRED?
In the private sector 2 things will happen if you are “missing” an extra 4 weeks a year. One: Management will grow frustrated with your absenteeism and find a way to legally fire you. Or two: They won't really miss you at all and quickly come to the realization that the workplace gets along fine without you...so why are you even on payroll? Suddenly you are downsized. Same result either way: You are home on EI with plenty of time to get better.
By the stats in the report, on an average weekday, more federal public servants are off sick than there are employees at Ford Canada and General Motors combined. Also on any given day, about 6000 federal workers are collecting disability benefits equal to 70% of their income. Half of them are on leave for stress, depression or mental health issues. I'm a huge proponent of mental health issues, but c'mon, something doesn't feel right here.
Did I mention this is costing taxpayers about $1B a year? In many areas of government, employees can also bank unused sick leave for future needs. Similar to teachers in some areas who can save up unused sick days for a pre-retirement pay out. By one estimate public servants are currently sitting on $5.2B worth of accumulated sick leave, and numbers of those applying for long term disability are also on the increase.
Harper is cutting 19,500 jobs in the federal sector, amazingly the same number of federal workers who are off sick on any given day. Experts say this will exacerbate the situation, allegedly because there is the same (or more) work for less people, leading I assume to more stress and mental health issues. Unions have by now seen the story, but not the report and I can't wait for their take on this one.
Meanwhile, as you drag your sorry ass to work today, because you have a job to do and commitments to fellow workers, and you take pride in attendance and a job well done, and you have a work ethic, and simply, “this is what you do”, remember there are about 20,000 federal workers who decided they need an unscheduled 3 day weekend. LEAVE COMMENTS.
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