Alberta government confused by plan to give ‘non-essential’ workers paid time off at Christmas, New Year’s

Posted on March 01, 2014, 12:19 am
3 mins

The children of unionized Alberta public employees enjoy Christmas at home. Unfortunately, Mom and Dad had to be at work because the jobs they do are essential. Below: One of the great minds of the Alberta government scratches his head as he puzzles out the problem. (Edmonton Sun photo.)

The government of Alberta has “no idea” how many of its 22,000 civil servants will get paid days off at Christmas and New Year’s if the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees accepts its latest offer, a very senior official said yesterday.

The government’s latest contract proposal to the union includes the Christmas closure of all non-essential government offices and services starting this year, said the official, who is so senior he’s authorized to comment on anything, even on things he can’t remember, but who isn’t required to give his name even if he does remember it.

“That means the affected employees would receive additional paid days off during Christmas and New Year’s,” the official said. “The trouble is, there may not be very many employees affected because, actually, they’re all essential.”

The official noted that all civil servants and public health care workers in Alberta are banned from striking on pain of massive penalties because all of their work has been deemed by the government to be essential.

“So this creates a real problem for us,” the senior official explained. “On one hand, we’re going to close all our non-essential services and give all our non-essential workers the day off with pay on Christmas and New Year’s. On the other hand, they’re actually all essential, so we don’t really have any idea how we’re going to work this out.”

The official said the Public Sector Resource Committee headed by Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk is now dealing with the problem. “So your readers should trust us that everything’s going to be OK. We have some of the biggest brains in this government looking into this!”

This is satire. The author just made up the quotes. The weird thing is, though, that pretty well everything else in the story is true. Go figure! But this makes this report clearly superior to other examples of fake news. This post also appears on

3 Comments to: Alberta government confused by plan to give ‘non-essential’ workers paid time off at Christmas, New Year’s

  1. Tom in Ontario

    March 1st, 2014

    David, the government official pictured should remember a basic rule when posting your profile on dating websites: no bathroom selfies!

  2. March 1st, 2014

    “We have some of the biggest brains in this government looking into this!” …. uhoh

  3. Northern Loon

    March 1st, 2014

    So which government employees will now be allowed to strike?

    Oh, I guess they covered that already.

    My question is how they are going to get wage employees to cover essential work when these days will be seen as being something like a stat holiday, but the pay will only be straight time.

    Those of us who have to work these three days will have yet another reason to detest the government/employer. I guess this is yet another example of “the biggest brains in the government looking into this”, or has someone (Tommy Boy) confused big hair with big brains?


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