This piece was first published in the Hill Times on February 17, 2014.
There is a move by the current Conservative government to reduce sick leave benefits for the rank and file public servants. The argument is that the amount of sick leave being used has increased from the past and is excessive. Treasury Board figures show it at 18 days a year. This is more than a public servant accumulates each year. Looking at this ‘deficit’ usage, TB must be right about the increase. Public servants have to be drawing from the leave that has been accumulated over the years. Whether or not, TB does anything, this will eventually stop. Sooner or later, the public service will run out of sick leave credits.
Of course the above statement, as Tony Clement the President of TB is aware, ignores the unpaid sick days and long-term disability that are included in the 18 days. The impression is given that public servants are taking excessive sick leave. What is needed to truly understand the numbers is the total of each one.
For these, we have to ignore Tony Clement and go to an impartial authority, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), Jean-Denis Fréchette.… Read the rest
Posted by Allan Cutler on March 20, 2014
Here are three stories that at first seem largely unrelated: In the first, the government has started cutting back in the public service, beginning with cuts at Public Works. On the face of it, and aside from the Prime Minister’s election promise that he wouldn’t do this, that’s not a bad idea. I estimate that the public service is about a third larger than it needs to be to get the job done, based on my observations, if it was running efficiently. Which it isn’t.
In the second, new data shows that disability claims in the federal public service reached an new high in 2010: almost 3,900 people are on disability (about 1.4% of the entire workforce), Of those, 47% are on disability for mental health reasons.
Maintaining a decent workplace and facilitating work are two of the most important functions of a leader or manager. Clearly, they are failing.
Which brings me to the third story: There is a report at Treasury Board Secretariat recommending that executives in government get a pay raise. It’s not indicated who wrote the report, but it is almost certain that even if government executives didn’t write it, they approved its content.
Besides the obvious conflict of interest, the premise behind the report is completely flawed.… Read the rest
Posted by Ian Bron on June 30, 2011