Clement: “I’m here also for the public servant who wants to work hard, who needs sick benefits when they are truly sick.”

Really?

When I was truly sick (cancer), I could use my bank of sick days (and it was considerable) as well as drawing upon discretionary sick leave for executives on full salary, before going on long-term disability at 70 percent salary.

So these and related changes impact upon those with catastrophic illnesses in a very material way, not just curbing abuse (of which there is some):

But the government doesn’t necessarily expect to realize the full $900 million in savings, Treasury Board President Tony Clement said Wednesday after the weekly Conservative caucus meeting.

“The budget is the budget, and the savings are the savings,” Clement said. “But there is some breathing room for me recognized in that calculation.”

The government has told civil service unions it expects to eliminate the system that allows public servants to bank sick days and carry them over from year to year.

Ottawa is hoping instead to provide short-term disability benefits through an insurance company.

Talks have been going on for the last year and are expected to last until at least June with 47 meeting days scheduled to take place, on top of the nearly 200 negotiating sessions that have been held so far.

Clement said he wants to bargain in good faith, even though the government is already counting the $900 million in savings from future sick leave liability toward its projected $1.4-billion surplus in 2015-16.

“They clearly want a Liberal or an NDP government to negotiate with, who will roll over and accept their positions,” Clement said of the unions with which he is bargaining.

“I’m here for the taxpayer,” he said. “I’m here also for the public servant who wants to work hard, who needs sick benefits when they are truly sick.”

Clement says public servants’ sick days an easy target for cuts (paywall)

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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