Government must give 5 days’ notice for sick leave changes

Court date scheduled for October

A judge has ruled the federal government must give five days’ notice before implementing changes to its sick leave plan ahead of a hearing slated for October.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision comes in response to the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s request to stop Ottawa from implementing its new sick leave plan in the current round of collective bargaining, which would effectively replace the existing scheme for a short-term disability plan. The plan would reduce the current number of sick leave days from 15 per year to six, and eliminate banked sick leave.

While the Treasury Board has been eager to settle the matter before the Oct. 19 election, the hearing will take place on Oct. 29. Should the government move to implement the changes before the hearing, it must provide five days’ notice.

“We’re pleased to see the court direct the government to provide advance notice if they intend to proceed with changes to current sick leave provisions before our motion is heard. This will give the court the opportunity to move up the hearing date if necessary,” said PSAC’s president Robyn Benson. “The Conservatives last budget implementation act was a direct assault on our members’ constitutional right to free collective bargaining and it needs to stop.”

This injunction is in addition to PSAC’s legal challenge against Bill C-59, the legislation that would allow sick leave and disability plans to be negotiated outside of the collective agreement.

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