The conundrum is this...it's better to keep injured soldiers employed (both morally and from a human resources standpoint) but to do so causes no end of problems within the CF itself.
I recently wrote this in response to an e-mail I received from another medically released vet who, having managed to get into the PS, is still fighting to have his time in the CF counted towards seniority, vacation benefits, etc. After years in the military- he started at the bottom again in the PS. I'd say work needs to be done on the priority hire and transition into the PS (he's not the only one I know who has had this problem)- for those few who actually manage to do so.
"There needs to be a monumental shift in thinking.
As a tax payer, I’m appalled at the experience, training, and money that the government tosses away each time a military member is released. And, I feel that they are being released because it is easier to simply release them than to create new policies to employ them productively. I also believe that changes in employment security for military members would jeopardize the employment of many other rehab, insurance, and VAC employees.
Veterans are big business- many people are employed in ‘rehabilitating’ people who require little or no rehabilitating. If we start giving employable (this is not about those who cannot work) released personnel jobs, who are they going to ‘rehabilitate’? What are they going to do?
Anyway, instead of making it seem like charity, turn it around.
Currently, the system works like this: We hear, “OK soldier, you were hurt in battle and can’t run anymore. We appreciate your time. Here’s some money, and we’ll give you a little extra consideration (along with all the other special interest groups that have priority hire) if you want another job in the government. If you can’t find a government job, you’re on your own. Good luck. Catch you later.”
I would like it to hear this, “OK soldier, you were hurt in battle and you can’t run anymore. You may feel like you can’t be of any use to us anymore; but do you know what? The Canadian taxpayers spent a lot of time, money, and effort training and educating you and you owe them-and you signed a contract that we are going to hold you to. We are at war, we are under staffed, and we need your experience and expertise to train those who are willing to continue the fight that you started. We are going to stop hiring fresh faced university students and civilians into the DND civilian division, and we are going to put you to work there. Instead of creating a PS position for a civilian so that there will be somebody to help you find a job, we are simply going to find a job for you- a PS position that will enhance CF services for deployable military personnel and allow you, now a civilian, to constructively continue to support the CF. We are going to do this, because you have proven yourself a good and motivated worker, and we need you. We appreciate what you did for us, soldier, but your work is not done.”
Treat people with dignity and acknowledge their worth and we will have fewer 'disgruntled' (I hate that word) veterans sounding off to the media.
Somebody above mentioned that we have to be realistic.
Realistically, this is neither the same world nor the same job market/employment situation that existed twenty or thirty years ago. The "suck it up, you signed on the dotted line" argument is no longer valid.
Recently, Canada's Labour Minister vowed to enact legislation that would protect reservists' employment-on a national level.
If this happens, the CF will find people investing time and effort in first finding and establishing stable permanent employment...and then joining the reserves to fulfill the need they have to fight for Canada.
Then, if they are injured, or get sick, they will have a job to go back to- with an employer that will work with them and accommodate for their missing limbs and kidney stones. People will not invest in a career that will have them starting all over again years down the road if they happen to get arthritis or end up using a cane. And they will know the CF treats their wounded this way because, unlike twenty or thirty years ago, ex-military are speaking out at the unfairness- telling the world, on national television, how things are.
It's very noble to consider the military a calling, and to say that it's so much more than a job. It's very easy to get offended by being called a mere "employee"- until the paycheck stops.
I'm watching the MCpl Franklin situation with interest. Here we have a man who has won the hearts and minds of nation, is motivated and has skills and experience that will help to save the lives of future soldiers. Will they let him go?
Can they not create a position for this man? Or will people be shouting-"You have to open that position up to a competition- because he's not in the military anymore?"
It's a shame...and so frustrating that I don't know what else to say right now.