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Taxpayers Federation delivers get-well-soon package to Alberta government employees

August 30, 2019
Taxpayers Federation delivers get-well-soon package to Alberta government employees

EDMONTON, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation delivered a get-well-soon package to the legislature building in the wake of a report showing Alberta’s provincial employees take the most sick days in Canada and about 2.5 times more sick days than Albertans working outside government.

“Taxpayers are worried about Alberta bureaucrats because they seem to be getting sick an awful lot,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Alberta Director. “If Alberta bureaucrats really are that sick, hopefully this chicken noodle soup will help. And maybe the Alberta government needs to find out why bureaucrats are taking so many sick days.”

The CTF is providing this comparison as part of its annual Labour Day Reality Check, highlighting the high cost of government compensation.

In 2018, the average Alberta government employee lost nearly three weeks of work due to illness (14.4 sick days) – more than government employees in any other province. The national average for provincial government employee sick days was 11.5 days.

Workers outside of government in Alberta took an average of 5.7 days.

Based on 210,104 full time Alberta government employees and employee compensation of $21.6 billion, the CTF estimates the total price tag for government sick days in 2018 was $854 million. If the government brought the number of sick days down to the same level of the private sector, it would save $516 million, or 60 per cent of the cost of sick days.

“The extra sick days Alberta’s government employees took off cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Terrazzano. “The government needs to look at reforming the way bureaucrats are taking sick days to make sure taxpayers are getting full value for their money.”

You can find the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s 2019 Labour Day Reality Check report here.

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