In the next video from the award-winning Prairies Video Project, PSAC members share their personal experiences with sick leave and how vital it was to both their recovery and their financial security.
Ray Wilson, a PSAC/Agriculture member for 25 years, has seen the importance of sick leave first hand, as his partner Stephanie Erb goes through cancer treatments. He recalls the initial meeting with Stephanie’s doctor, where one of the first questions asked was whether she had sick leave and how much.
“[Stephanie] said, you know, ‘ball park, six or seven months,’ and he said, ‘well you should plan to use all of it.'”
This story resonated with Sherry Hunt when she first heard it at a Lethbridge Area Council meeting and she knew it had to be captured on video. She organized several members from Agriculture Local 30048 in Lethbridge to share their personal stories to illustrate the necessity for sick leave.
“The fight to protect our sick leave all of a sudden became very personal. We aren’t just defending a right for ourselves, we are defending it for someone else––for Stephanie. It was beyond self interest. This issue is important to us as individuals, families, friends, and co-workers.”
It’s an especially important time to highlight the need for sick leave, as the federal government just tabled its Budget Implement Act (Bill C-59), which authorizes Treasury Board to modify collective agreements to remove sick leave and impose a short and long term disability plan outside of collective agreements.
Like the video? Have a story of your own about the importance of sick leave? Share your comments and stories with us in the comments section on YouTube.
Connect with PSAC Prairie Region
The Prairies Video project was produced with union labour: Road Dog Media, UNIFOR – Canadian Freelance Union Local 2040. It was awarded the 2014 CALM Award for “Best narrative video, or video series documentary”. View all videos from the series on our YouTube channel.