Public Servants pack more sickies

It’s official, Public Servants are sicker than the rest of us. Whilst sitting in their air-conditioned top shelf office blocks expanding their already well padded butts the public service is also taking more sick days than the rest of us. More pay, more holidays and more sick leave. No wonder the wheels of government grind so slowly.

Public servants averaged 7.7 sick days each last year, compared with 5.3 days for workers in the private sector.

The disparity was symptomatic of the cultural difference between private and public sector workplaces, claims one critic.

The National Employers’ wage and salary survey interviewed more than 39,000 employees, and found the average worker took 5.3 sick days each year.

The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association commissioned the survey, which a spokesman said highlighted the cultural mindset at workplaces.

Employment services manager David Lowe said 7.7 sick days was high, considering most private businesses provided only the legal minimum of five days. “It’s just a symptom of the difference between the the private and public sectors,” he said. “It’s about the culture of the workplace. When people are in that grey zone of not feeling flash, some go in, but others say `I’m going to take the day off’.”

Over paid, underworked and now having a lend via sick days.

One former public servant who responded to the survey said many workers saw 10 sick days as a target. “If you’re sick in the public sector no one cares, and work does not pile up on your desk.”

Ain’t that the truth. I know a couple of civil servants who think their sick leave is like a special holiday allowance and they calculate it as such.

Ministry of Social Development staff are among the most sickly, averaging 8.1 days each. A spokesperson said staff there got sick more often because they had more interaction with the public.

Ministry of Economic Development staff appear impervious to germs and bacteria, averaging just 1.5 sick days a year. At the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, staff averaged 7.63 sick days. Female staff took eight days, while male staff took five each.

Hmmm…I wonder what Alasdair Thompson thinks about these figures.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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