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Firefighter Job Action Pushed Into Medical System

I heard a newstory about Fredericton firefighters just now that irks me. Apparently there were so many firefighters who called in sick yesterday, their positions had to be covered by other firefighters who were called in for overtime and even off of vacation. The employer feels that the number of people calling in sick was a protest to changes in their pension rules. Changes are being proposed (or maybe they've already been made, I cannot remember), which prevent overtime hours being taken into account for pension calculation. I can relate to the frustration over changes to the pension, but I bristle when people use "sick leave" to take job action. Sick leave is for people who are sick. When it comes to job action, have your union, the employer, and the employees sort it out.

To make matters worse, the employer now wants those firefighters to get a doctor's note to say they are fit to return to work. Hold on a second! A doctor who did not see someone yesterday can certify them fit for work, but cannot confirm they were sick yesterday. Doctor's are not magicians. Stop confusing sick leave, doctor's notes, and our already beleaguered medical system with being a tool to settle disputes between employers and their employees.

And keep in mind that if we continue to demand rich pensions, loaded benefit plans, and frivolous visits to the doctor's office, someone's taxes are going to go up. A whole bunch.

3 comments:

Lynda said...

I agree with you, our medical system is so burdened already and no one wants to start paying more taxes then we already are, so they need to smarten up!!

Maria said...

Sick time has been a much abused job action practice. We are used to having so much and expect "the much" to increase every year that we forget why we live in social groups, i.e. cities, countries ,etc. A long time ago we learned that in order to survive as a species, we had to learn to cooperate and SHARE resources. It's time to remember the lessons history has taught us.

Pam Robertson said...

They were being very political on the news tonight, not wanting to come out and say that it was an illegal form of job action being taken, but there was plenty of wondering going on since 16 of 21 firefighters called in sick. That's either a nasty bug (and to give benefit of the doubt, it could be), or you know that expression...if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...