Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sask: Government absenteeism continues to soar

REGINA: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the Saskatchewan government to conduct a review of human resources practices after surveying the amount of sick days taken by government and crown corporation employees.

The CTF obtained the average number of sick days taken by employees through Freedom of Information. The survey included most major crowns, government departments and ten of the province’s twelve health authorities.

Of the twelve government departments surveyed eight have seen increases in absenteeism since 2000/01. Saskatchewan Environment saw an increase of 39 percent – going from an average 6.9 sick days per FTE to 9.6 last year. Culture, Youth and Recreation recorded a 37 per cent increase, while absenteeism at Highways and Transportation increased by 25 per cent. Justice was the only department that saw a net decrease in absenteeism (24 per cent).

Read the backgrounder...


Chad Moats said...

Could be that the departments, seeing this dramatic increase, employees are over worked therefore leading to higher levels of stress, decreasing their immune system and getting sick. Possibly just stress from being overworked and underpaid.
If it's one thing that Gen X & Y have put emphasis on less work time and more time with family and recreation. Hard work and productivity is only part of the formula for a successful and happy existence.

Shawn said...

Perhaps these downtrodden underdogs should look for other employment. If they cannot handle the workload at their current job, find a more relaxed workplace (with lower pay as well).

It would be interesting to see a direct comparison between similar jobs public vs. private where possible instead of using averages.

Overworked and underpaid is pretty funny actually given that previous comparisons have found that public sector workers have substantially higher pay scales than the private sector, even before comparing benefits packages.

Chad Moats said...

I didn't say the private sector isn't underpaid. I believe that all those barely making a living should get a raise.

bing said...

All those who are barely making a living have the ability to further educate themselves, or even better, search for a better paying job. Ah the joys of a democratic economy!
Governments have no business being involved in business. The private sector is much more efficient.

Shawn said...

Ah yes, the "living wage" myth. What exactly is a living wage? It appears, from what I have been able to glean, to be little more than a constantly shifting set of goalposts to enable "activists" to cry about how unfair the world is to some people. Bing makes the exact arguments wrt this that I would have made.

Very few people who work at minimum wage jobs do so for longer than a year or two. In my experience, they are like a rite of passage whereby you are able to demonstrate to future employers that you are reliable enough to be worthy of better paying work.

The private sector is not underpaid unless we are talking relative to the public sector. You see, in the real world, market forces determine the work to be worth. Too little pay means no one will do the work, or those that do will be of poor enough calibre that the employer is better off paying better wages to attract higher quality workers. Sadly enough these forces are kept at bay in the fishbowl of the public sector.

Shawn said...

"determine the worth of the work."

len pryor said...

If I had to work for the NDP I'd be sick too

Anonymous said...

Chad, are you really a "student" in his 30's? get a job, then you may be qualified to comment! I can't tell if your saying outrageous and self-rightious crapola just to get attention, or if you really beleive it. I suppose the Dippers will give you a job: then you can be well-paid and smug, and take yourself lots of paid "sick days" at working peoples expence.

Chad Moats said...

Fulltime student, fulltime employee and fulltime parent.
What more can my lazy ass do ?

Chad Moats said...

Sask Party expenses $4 Million of your money
See my blog for more details.

Chad Moats said...

Wow so they use 9 of 15 allotted days in a year. I think that it shows good judgement in not using 40% of their sick days. Do not forget that family time , bereavement, etc are also calculated into the equation. Also, Sasktel's Short Disability Plan is included in their sick stats.
Hey, Dave do your research and try to stop your Sask Party buddies to stop spending millions. Especially McMorris, $100k+ to travel from Regina to Indian Head. The politicians the CTF backs should be towing the line or they look hypocritical.

David MacLean said...

Hey Chad, if you're paying attention you know that the CTF disagrees more than we agree with the Saskatchewan Party. We are non partisan. If the Sask Party becomes government, they will get the same gentle treatment. And you know it.

Chad Moats said...

Your spinning your number,Dave. You have not even looked into whether there is an overall incraese in illness, province wide, or compared it to any other business/government. Is it not commendable that the majority of Sask gov't and crown corp. employees do not use 40% of there sick days.

David MacLean said...

As a matter of fact Chad I have looked at the best research on the subject. Even if people are sicker than we were 6 years ago, it doesn't change the fact that something needs to be done.

Bottom line is that unionized workers take 80 per cent more sick days than non unionized workers across Canada. Are unionized workers more sick than non-union workers? Or are non-union workers oppressed by the man?

The research clearly shows that absenteeism is on the rise in ALL sectors and in all provinces. But the other provinces are not the Saskatchewan division's concern.

My concern is the Saskatchewan government, and what they are going to do to address the problem. Since we have publicly created a debate on the subject, we think good things will come of it. And that's what makes it all worthwhile.

You exist in the world of excuses, I am all about solutions.

Chad Moats said...

Me: Not excuses, facts.
CTF: Not solutions, complaints.
If absenteeism is on the rise nationally and in general. This is to be expected. One can not control an overall medical trend and the fact that you present these numbers, without any comparisons or other facts( you claim to have) and then hint that it is from abuse is irresponsible. Non-union employees get less paid sick days therefore either have to work sick or lose pay. Your type spin is aimed at one goal. To create a wedge issue so that your political puppets may assume power. If you hold the Sask Party to the same accountability, I look forward to your editorial on McMorris excessive expenses to get to Indian Head.

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