Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sick days costing Ontario school boards $1-billion a year, report says

Ontario’s teachers and education workers are taking more sick days now that they can’t bank them for a cash payout upon retirement – a move that a new report says is costing school boards close to $1-billion a year.

In 2012, the Liberals sliced teachers’ annual sick days from 20 to 11, and removed their ability to bank unused days. The new plan resulted in $1-billion in one-time savings, the government said.

But a new report from the non-for-profit School Boards’ Co-operative Inc., a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail, found that there has been a “significant increase” in absences. Teachers and education workers took an average of 10.29 sick days each in 2014-15, up from 8.86 days four years prior and before the changes were implemented. Sick leave as a percentage of total payroll has increased 21 per cent during that same period.

The direct cost of absenteeism across the province was estimated to be $921,866,466 in 2014-15, the report said.  (more...)

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