Report: On average, city employees missed 9.3 days of work in 2016
A report to Friday’s Employee and Labour Relations committee shows city employees missed on average 9.3 days of work last year.
Despite the constant talk from City Hall about attendance management, continuous controls and monitoring, that figure has not budged since the low in 2013 of 8.8 days.
It’s even worse when one separates out the absences for unionized employees in CUPE local 79, who were sick on average nearly 12 days last year compared to 10.7 days in 2013.
Absences for employees with CUPE 416 were down last year to an average of 10.39 days compared to 11.7 the year before.
Non-union city employees took off the fewest days in 2016 at seven on average — although that number was up from 6.3 days the year before.
A report from current auditor-general Beverley Romeo-Beehler last September found paid staff absences (which included bereavement leave) cost the city $104 million in total in 2015.
A 2014 report from former auditor-general Jeff Griffiths recommended that city HR staff compare the city’s employee absenteeism rates with other municipalities or organizations to better control the abuse of sick leave.
However, the report to Friday’s committee from Kerry Pond, the city’s executive director of HR, only compares the average days lost per worker due to illness — 11.2 — to the “public sector” with no breakdown for levels of government or particular municipalities.
The report does note the city’s HR department is participating in an annual survey that tracks paid sick hours per employee in other municipalities, but adds that the information gathered will not be provided to the city until late October.
Friday’s report also shows that the top absence rates in 2016 occurred at 311 Toronto (13 days); accounting services (13 days), Toronto Court Services (13 days); Revenue Services (nearly 14 days), Toronto Fire Services (nearly 14 days) and Shelter, Support and Housing (12.5 days).
The report notes that as of this past January the city’s Illness or Injury Plan (IIP) permits 20 sick days at 100% pay and another 110 days at 75% pay for both CUPE 79 and 416 employees, as well as non-union staff.