Creating a Sustainable Public Sector
July 5, 2013
Average Canadians understand that in order to be prosperous, you need to live within your means. You cannot spend more than you make, and you see that every dollar is spent wisely. Our government knows this too. That is why we are ending stimulus spending and taking steps to balance our budget and return to surplus by 2015.
To do this, we are reforming the public sector in order to align it with current standards in the private sector. Public servants in the federal government have an average absentee rate of 18.2 days per year. This number is two and a half times more than what is common in the private sector. To put this in perspective, on any given day, approximately 19,000 public service workers are off sick. This is unsustainable.
The solution is to reform and modernize the current disability system for public servants, which has gone unchanged for 40 years. By modernizing this system and creating a short-term disability insurance plan, we will be able to provide proper support to employees through periods of illness.
In addition, we announced a new management system that will track public service employees’ performance. This government-wide policy will help boost productivity and morale. It will permit management to reward good workers while dealing with poor performers effectively. Ensuring that everyone is pulling their weight is a common sense approach that will encourage the public service to work to its full potential. This is another way in which we are bringing public sector standards in line with the private sector.
Finally, we are eliminating voluntary severance for public servants. This practice paid severance to those who quit or retired. It is very costly and not something that is seen in the private sector. This measure alone is expected to save taxpayers $500 million every year.
Our Conservative Government respects taxpayers’ hard-earned money. We are focused on keeping taxes low and returning to a balanced budget by 2015 so that Canada can continue to prosper for years to come.
Originally submitted to the EMC – Ottawa Newspaper