Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day, Eh?

I heard some odd news coming out of my home and native land recently, specifically that Canada Day was canceled. Not everywhere in Canada, just in that part of Canada that most Canadians see as being only tangentially related to the country - Toronto

It seems that there is a rather large strike going on, with CUPE employees demanding to be allowed to keep being able collect unused sick days (days they could have played hookey, but decided to work instead), roll them over from year to year until, at some point, they could cash them in for a hefty sum. At 18 days per year, a twenty year veteran would have 360 days, more than a year's pay, saved up and ready to withdraw at any time.

Spread that out over 30,000 or so employees, it amounts to quite a bit of cash. If every employee earned $30,000 a year, this perk would amount to $2,200 per employee, per year. But most CUPE workers earn quite a bit more than that, and the "sick bank" is estimated to be at $140 million currently.

That is, the city has to set aside $140 million, out of its budget, during a recession, during a time when the city is massively in the red, so that an infinitesimally small percentage of the city population can walk away with a stack of cash that was not actually earned. It basically amounts to a bonus of 15% of the yearly salary just for showing up to work, at a time when scores of people would do anything for a job.

So the end result is that due to a lack of city workers, the annual Canada Day festivities were canceled. And, as far as I understand it, the strike was also threatening the annual Gay Pride parade, which is, to a socialist city council, by far the more important event.

Thankfully, for the Pride Parade organizers, they could depend on the open hearts and open wallets of Canada's conservative federal government.

No comments:

Post a Comment