Several federal unions have assembled to run a pre-emptive campaign to save sick leave and are preparing to challenge the Conservative government’s “myths” about public servants’ absenteeism. The unions are formulating a critical round of collective bargaining talks to replace existing benefits with a new short-term disability plan.
The large unions are gearing up by posting facts, information and arguments on their websites to explain their support for the existing accumulated sick-leave system and refuting the government’s claims that the benefits are too costly and outdated. On the other hand, the government has indicated that it plans to implement a new short-term disability plan that would help get employees back to work faster and in better health. The president of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees, Claude Poirier, has initiated a “myth buster” campaign that highlights true facts that he claims the government has deliberately distorted to win public opinion.