Time off always carries a cost

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Nova Scotians just got a preview of what the new holiday in February could cost the province.

For the health system, as reported Monday by CBC, the district health authorities will be hit with a cost of just over $3 million. The extra is attributed to what they will need to pay for such salary considerations as holiday premiums and overtime.

The largest amount will be experienced by the Capital Region, about $1.1 million. But even for the smaller authorities it won’t exactly be pocket change: $112,000 for Pictou County; $82,000 for Colchester-East Hants.

The authorities will have to absorb the cost in their overall budgets – perhaps not a staggering amount, but all the same an extra bill they don’t need considering the Department of Health, like all departments, already faces continual strain in making ends meet.

The decision by the newly elected Liberals in their first year to establish a holiday the third Monday of February was perhaps not an entirely rash move. Most of the other provinces have such a holiday in that dreary time, the longest run during the year that otherwise has no celebrations.

The chief complaint, however, came from businesses and business leaders who said the holiday was imposed without any consultation with the sector. Considering the economy in the province is generally described as far short of brisk, for the business community, having to pay the costs of an extra holiday is just one more burden.

As this set of numbers in relation to the health authorities suggests, the business sector will be similarly affected.

It’s not hard to see why the Liberals would calculate the creation of a holiday as a safe, popular move – it would certainly be embraced by the average working stiff.

It would be nice to think that the day off will have some effect of reinvigoration upon the workforce – fewer sick days in the dead of winter. That might be an overly rosy hope, but it’s the only one we can cling to in this matter.

Organizations: CBC, Department of Health

Geographic location: Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • Charles
    August 01, 2014 - 14:15

    Here we go again every time the working class gets a tiny bit more all the sudden the financial sky is falling for employers YAWN!!

  • Jack
    July 29, 2014 - 14:24

    Always looking to attack the public service. People are becoming brainwashed into believing they are the cause of the ills of the world. Maybe look at the super wealthy and how they shield all their income from taxes.

  • Concerned Nova Scotian
    July 29, 2014 - 12:40

    Just something more for us to pay for! Too bad everyone couldn't work for the government. Instead of looking for ways to save move, they just keep spending. I don't know what it is going to take to make a government in Nova Scotia to realize the private business owners are that financial burdened by taxes, holiday pay, employee deductions, HST that some days you feel like tossing in the towel. What needs to be done in this province, is an in depth look at government employees, their sick days, grievance days, personal day, paid leave until they are proven guilty etc etc. I know too many people that get paid from the NS Government that are abusing the system to the extent that makes me think how could they even justify the job for the amount of time missed. Working for a private company, you or the company can not afford these days. My mother passed away three years ago, she was buried on Saturday and I was at work on Monday. Where someone working for the government would have approximately 2 weeks of. Welfare is another sector that is being extremely abused two parents home looking after one child, nicer vehicles than the working class. All because if one works they loose the government cheque. Something got to give! It is high time something is done for small business in this province, to give them a break.

    • cale macdonald
      July 29, 2014 - 18:35

      Rant, based on untrue assumptions, outright deception, and half truths. It is high time that business. Start shouldering its fair share of the economic crisis that it and the banks created. It's far too late to be relying on these scare tactics to appeal to workers to turn on one another. Yeah, now reply with a slight on unions, it's the only false argument you did not make, I am surprised.