A new report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says its time to reform municipal sick day policies that are costly and unfair to taxpayers as civic employees can bank unused sick days while most private sector employees cannot. Public sector workers have always enjoyed greater benefits than almost all private sector workers. Generous vacation and sick day allotment and defined benefit pensions. Although, as governments realize how expensive these things have become and how hard it is to fund them with taxpayers dollars, some things are having to change.
Defined benefits pension plans are grudgingly evolving into defined contribution plans like in the private sector. Some cities are doing away with bankable sick days that effectively reward an employee for not getting sick. According to the CFIB, Saskatoon is still behind in this area. They say our civic workers can still bank up to 194 sick days which, under some collective agreements, can be converted to cash payments on retirement. The City has millions of dollars in banked sick day liability. Calgary and Edmonton are setting a good example of no longer allowing sick day banking. Having a safety net in place in case employees get sick is the right thing to do, but when governments allow the banking of sick days it encourages people to feel entitled to those days whether they’re sick or not, according to the CFIB. Short-term disability plans like we have in the private sector are a good alternative.