Sick days becoming an endangered species

Financial, political pressures coalescing to force end
By Gordon Sova
||Last Updated: 12/18/2009

Several collective agreements in this week’s issue of CLV Reports have wound up their sick leave provisions and replaced them with a short-term disability plan. In Toronto in particular, sick days were a hot political issue during the inside and outside workers’ strike this summer. In many municipalities and schools boards, they are already a thing of the past. Those that remain are certainly going to be under scrutiny, though healthcare bargaining units might well be able to withstand the pressure for some time.

Kingston labour lawyer Kees Kort commented at a conference that he had yet to see a collective agreement that did not have two signatures. His point was that employers who complained to him about the provisions of a contract should remember that they negotiated those terms; they had given and taken. At that point, one can’t try to repudiate the portion of a bargain that is in the other party’s favour.