Low sickness rate among teachers in Shetland

Teachers in the isles took fewer days off sick than their mainland colleagues last year, councillors were told on Monday.

Members of the audit and scrutiny committee heard Shetland lost an average of 5.3 teaching days per employee in 2008/2009 through sickness, which compares favourably with a Scottish average over the same period of 7.4 days.

The figure is strong enough to put Shetland teachers well within the top eight local authorities in Scotland when it comes to keeping sickness days at a minimum, ranking the isles in second place just behind Midlothian, whose teachers had an average of 4.7 days off.

Meanwhile non-teaching staff at the council have proved themselves to be more resilient against bugs and flus this year after a poor showing in the previous financial year.

Council workers outwith the classroom lost 13.3 days on average in 2008/2009, which put them behind the 12.5 days Scottish average and outwith the top eight in their category.
However since April the figure has gone down to 12.3 days – a big improvement and now better than the Scottish average.

Interestingly, aside from chairwoman Florence Grains, only two other councillors turned up to hear the figures laid bare at the meeting: Shetland West member Gary Robinson and North Mainland councillor Addie Doull.

Other members did not attend, although assurances were given they were tending to important council business and were not off sick themselves.


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