Editorial for 26 April: Something is wrong here

There is absolutely nothing wrong, in our view, with working
a second job to earn extra income for one’s family or oneself.

It seems, based on information that we have received from a
Freedom of Information request, that quite a few civil servants – at least 151
– have reported private gainful employment in addition to their regular jobs.
We appreciate the government taking the reins and putting in important controls
for a system that was previously managed in what might be described as an “ad
hoc” fashion. As of February 2012, the government has adopted a uniform policy
on private gainful employment where chief officers must approve the private
sector work in each individual employee’s case. Continued monitoring and
enforcement of that system must be maintained for it to be effective, of

However, there is a section of today’s story that is
somewhat troubling, particularly in the context of another civil service policy
matter that deals with vacation time.

According to information in the FOI request, the greater a
civil servant’s salary, the more likely they are to have outside employment or
separate business interests.

Also, according to current government policy, the more pay a
position receives in the government service, the more vacation days they are
awarded each year.

Based on this set of facts, it seems reasonable to conclude
that the time one spends on the government service job they hold is inversely
proportionate to the amount of money they are paid and the rank within the
service they maintain. Put another way, the more money you make and the higher
up the chain of command you are, the more time you can spend away on vacation
and the more likely you are to have a private sector job or private business
that could, arguably, detract from your day job.

Maybe it is the vacation time policy and not the private
sector jobs policy that needs fixing, but we can’t help but feel something is
wrong with the current arrangement.


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