An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
HAPPY EASTER Monday.
If you’re a federal or provincial government employee and aren’t in an essential service, you’re likely off the job today, enjoying the last day of a four-day break.
If you’re in the private sector, you’re probably at work.
Holidays and when we celebrate them are a stew of stats vs. non-stats, federal and provincial, official and casual.
For example, you might get vacation pay for Boxing Day, but not necessarily, because it isn’t an official holiday. But Victoria Day is — that’s celebrated as the day gas prices go up.
We all enjoy an extra day off every month. In B.C., Family Day is now a deal. Several other provinces have their own versions of it. Elsewhere there’s Louis Riel Day, Heritage Day and Island Day.
Altogether there are 10 official stats and a couple of semi-official holidays in B.C., and a whole bunch that are more about selling product than anything else.
The rules on when employers are allowed to close on holidays without paying their employees are complicated. There’s stat holiday pay and premium stat holiday pay, eligible earnings and so on, and they vary from one province to another.
If we could do just one thing to simply it all, it should be to straighten out the Easter long weekend. Sorry, government folks, but there’s no logical reason you should get a day off work, with pay, on Easter Monday.
It’s a confusing double standard. Most stores are open on Easter Monday, but schools and libraries aren’t. And, of course, neither are government offices. There’s no mail delivery, either.
I’m guessing every statutory holiday costs the economy a few billion dollars, so ditching Easter Monday would help a lot.
Why should government workers get paid for taking a day off today when everybody else has to punch in as usual?
Let’s save some money, up our productivity, and set a principle of equal stats for all.
Statutory holidays should be the same for everybody.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.