Re­port: On av­er­age, city em­ploy­ees missed 9.3 days of work in 2016

24 Hours Toronto - - News - SUE-ANN LEVY

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.

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