Can we say enough about the alleged sick-time abuse brought forward by The Saskatoon Health Region?
Over the last year, SHR would have us believe that each and every employee is or has been an abuser of sick time. Recently the clause "Good Attendance Required" has been added as a job requirement for internal postings. Although the concept may be well intended by management, it cannot exist in a seniority based system.
Rather than target the "abusers" the health region has blanketed all employees under the same veil. The current collective agreement defines sick leave as:(24.01) The period of time an employee is absent from work by virtue of being sick or disabled or because of an accident not covered by Workers' compensation.
Subsequently, under (4.01) Non Discrimination: The Employer and the Union agree that there shall be no discrimination, interference, restriction, coercion, exercised or practiced with respect to any employee in the matter of hiring, wage rates, training, upgrading, promotion, transfer, layoff, recall, discipline, classification, discharge, or otherwise by reason of age, race, creed, colour, national origin, disability (subject to bona fide occupational requirements), political or religious affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, place of residence, nor by reason of membership or activity in the union.
On December 17-2010, SHR released a Region Wide Attendance Policy, in which attendance is calculated on a peer group average. Peer Group Average: Is a benchmark measure to which employees are compared. Peer Group Average absenteeism is calculated by taking all of of the paid sick time hours of employees in a particular union and dividing by the number of full time equivalent employees in that union. Peer Group Average rates can be described as a number of hours(for full time employees only) or as a percentage of hours (which applies to full time, part time, and casual employees). Seems pretty straight forward right? Wrong! Based on this calculation a full-time employee' s sick time average fluctuates regardless of whether the employee has used sick time or not. Senior Employees are being denied positions because their Peer Group Average sick time is too high, this is not an acceptable answer as the calculation used to determine your average is based on a total sick time usage within the region, then divided by full time or full time equivalent employees only.
With a Peer Group Average which hasn't fluctuated more than half a percentage point since it's inception, one begins to wonder if the calculations are true, or is management playing the numbers to make themselves look good?
In a system which allows employees to improve their position by seniority, the system implemented by SAHO is demeaning and screams discrimination.
The Human Rights (Of Saskatchewan) code states that It's against the law for someone to discriminate against you in Employment or Occupations.
The dictionary describes Occupation as: a person's usual or principal work or business, especially as a means of earning a living; vocation.
The very idea that management is playing your private numbers ( as it pertains to sick time) should remain private. Requesting sick notes (when you are off sick) is ok sure, all sick notes are standard "Jane Smith was absent from work on Dec.5 Due to medical reasons" The attendance reviews conducted by management are impeding on your right to privacy. Under The Privacy Act of Saskatchewan, section 2 subsection (d) states: use of letters, diaries or other personal documents of a person; without the consent, expressed or implied, of the person or some other person who has the lawful authority to give the consent is prima facie evidence of a violation of the privacy of the person first mentioned.
If Management insists on denying job postings due to sick time, it may prepare itself for multiple discrimination cases.
Protection Under The Human Right Code
Where am I Protected?
It’s against the law for someone to discriminate against you in:
- employment or occupations
- public services (restaurants, stores, hotels, government services, etc.)
- contracts or purchase of property
- professional associations or trade unions.