Pensions and Benefits

As we reported in the January 1999 FI News, talks between the Treasury Board and the unions on Pension Reform have broken off and the government has decided to unilaterally legislate changes.

The improvement to the basic formula that would change the period of average highest salary used to calculate pension benefits from six to five continuous years is good.

However, legislation would also determine the use of the plan’s almost $30 billion surplus. The government intends on using our pension plan surplus in the same manner as it is doing with the Employment Insurance surplus. There is no provision for a Joint Union Management Board and its Investment Board does not include labour representation.

For all of Mr. Massé’s rhetoric on improving the conditions within the Public Service and its morale, we have gone through turmoil after turmoil, wage freezes, massive job cuts, privatizations, freeze on binding arbitration, UCS and ill defined salary protection, to achieve what? The pension issue impacts all public servants, members of the Canadian Forces, RCMP, postal workers, pensioners, etc. and we must demonstrate to the government that enough is enough!

As a start, we are asking each member to send a letter to Mr. Massé to register your concern about the government’s intent to grab the surplus in the pension plan. A form letter is attached should you not want to compose a personal letter. Please also send a copy of the letter to your member of Parliament.

We are coordinating our efforts with the other bargaining agents for further action and will keep you informed.