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Sick of Sick Leave

March 11, 2010

Is anybody really surprised that Saskatoon Health Region employees abuse their sick leave?  If you work for SHR or know someone who does, you must have heard stories about the use and abuse of sick leave.  I’ve been told by different sources in different departments that people will coordinate the use of their sick leave.  How?  “I’ll call in sick this day and you can take my shift for overtime pay.  Next time, you call in sick and I’ll work your shift.”  Whenever this happens, the health region pays 2 1/2 times the regular rate for the shift (sick pay + 1 1/2 as overtime pay for the replacement).

I know someone who bragged on Facebook that she was going to use up all of her sick leave before her job ended.  Gosh … may high employment costs are the reason why her job was cut.

Sick leave is viewed as an entitlement — just another type of vacation time.  This does backfire for some employees if they really do become sick and don’t have any sick time available.  At that point, these same people rant and rave about not having any income while fighting a long-term illness.

According to SHR CEO Moira Davies (as quoted in the StarPhoenix),

there is also a “very close correlation” between long weekends and major concerts and sporting events in town and the days larger numbers of workers call in sick. “This is not likely a coincidence.”

I’m willing to bet that “sickness” rates peak during union rallies.

Aaaaargh.  I just heard Gormley say that non-unionized employees get about 30 hours of sick leave per year and unionized get over 60 hours.  Not surprising.

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