Conservatives wrong again on Public Service sick leave

Despite repeated accusations by the Conservative government, a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Office has clearly demonstrated that the use of sick leave in the federal civil service imposes no significant financial costs on the government or taxpayers.

“In February, the PBO released a report showing that Treasury Board Secretary Tony Clement had misrepresented the level of sick leave taken by civil servants,” said NDP MP Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre), who requested a comprehensive analysis of public sector sick leave from the PBO. “Today’s report shows that Mr. Clement continues to make false, ideologically-driven claims about public sector workers.”

The report comes as the federal government and public sector are in the midst of a new round of bargaining. According to media reports, the government is attempting to force civil servants to take more unpaid leave or come to work while sick.

“This is essential work that the PBO is performing, as the Conservatives’ budget bills eliminated the government’s impartial research services intended to inform the collective bargaining process,” said NDP Treasury Board critic Mathieu Ravignat (Pontiac). “Conservatives should show our civil servants the respect they deserve in the collective bargaining process and stop making false accusations against them.”