Sunday, July 20, 2014
Lorne Gunter: Whatever The Facts Are, They're Bad
The Sun's Lorne Gunter objects to a PBO report claiming public sector sick day costs are not a burden on the taxpayer because "...most departments do not call in replacements when an employee takes a sick day, [and therefore] there are no incremental costs.” Lorne doesn't like that: whatever the costs are, they're unwarranted. He apparently thinks that there are just too many federal public servants, however many of them there actually are and whatever they cost, and presumably if he was in charge goddammnit he would cut them to the point where the next employee taking a sick day did have an negative effect on service levels. Apparently, Lorne thinks this is what happens in the private sector: your business owner fires everyone but his last administrator, and when they come down with the flu calls go unanswered and business goes undone. I expect this does happen occasionally, especially when times are tough, but its hardly what you would call good business practice. And imagine how this strategy would work if applied to, for example, your local fire department. You sack enough fellows that when the next guy sprains his ankle, the next fire gets maybe half a truck. A guy in a VW Beetle with a can of spritzer water, maybe. In fact, in Ontario you barely have to imagine. Hudanomics, that math challenged theory propounded by ex-PCPO leader Tim Hudak, suggested firing public servants, fire men included, and redistributing the money saved to folks like chiropractors and the people who operate nail salons. Ontarians decided that he was nuts.