Negotiate! Don’t legislate public sector pensions

FREDERICTON: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in New Brunswick is calling upon the Alward government to slow down the implementation of the “Shared Risk” model for the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA).

“Last week, we met with government officials and indicated to them that our members had concerns and questions about this new model that needs to be considered before it is legislated”, declared CUPE NB President Daniel Légère.

“CUPE simply wants the Alward government to take a pause in its legislation and discuss the many options available to preserve the defined benefit nature of the PSSA and improve its funding”, explained Légère.

“We strongly believe that Defined Benefit Pension Plans are the best and most efficient way to provide a decent, secure and predictable retirement income for the workers in New Brunswick and across Canada. However, CUPE recognizes that some pension plans are facing larger challenges then others.  The “Shared Risk” model was developed by a government task force working with other unions, including CUPE, to address critical problems with the province’s health care workers’ pension plan. CUPE, however, made it perfectly clear to the Alward government – this was not a one size fits all fix for tackling short-term pension challenges.”

“We have never said that the “status quo” is the only option for the PSSA plan. But we also can’t stand idly by as the Alward government tries to shed pension liabilities at the expense of public sector workers’ pensions.”

“We are fully prepared to work with the province in tackling the surmountable challenges facing the PSSA plan, and find options that don’t transfer all the risks onto workers and retirees”, concluded Légère.