OTTAWA – Rodger Cuzner, Liberal Labour critic, criticized the Treasury Board Minister, Tony Clement, in the House of Commons today over the government’s unfair and unreasonable actions concerning Public Service sick leave.
“Is it fair and reasonable to trample on collective bargaining rights in order to claim a bogus $900 million in savings and to fake a balanced budget? Is it fair and reasonable to steal back from workers a benefit that was negotiated at the bargaining table?” Cuzner asked Clement today in Question Period.
The Liberal Party is against imposing changes to sick-leave provisions through legislation outside the collective bargaining process, especially when there has been no evidence that the new regime will be “fair and reasonable” to either employees or taxpayers.
The only thing that is certain about the government’s plan is their bogus claim that eliminating the Sick Leave Bank will result in a $900 million cash savings. Sick leave does not cost the government anything in the vast majority of cases. However, the government still records the Sick Leave Bank as a non-cash liability and therefore can show a non-cash savings by eliminating it.
“The Conservatives are obviously using legal accounting fiction about sick leave to claim a phony balanced budget for their political gain instead of fairness to public servants and the taxpayer,” Mr. Cuzner said.
The Liberal Party believes a government and public-sector unions should always be looking for ways to improve the sick leave and disability plan for their mutual benefit.
“If the parties to a public-sector collective agreement want to change benefits or other provisions, it should be done through consultation and negotiation at the bargaining table. This is the only way to ensure that a resulting sick leave system is fair to both employees and to taxpayers,” said Cuzner.
For more information:
Rodger Cuzner, M.P. Cape Breton-Canso
Phone: 613-222-6881 (mobile) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org