OTTAWA, July 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Several dozen public sector workers,
social activists and local labour leaders demonstrated outside of
Premier Dalton McGuinty's Ottawa constituency office today in
opposition to proposed changes that could take away control workers
have over their own retirement funds.
"What the McGuinty government is doing amounts to an unprecedented
attack on the voice public sector workers have over their own
pensions," said Chris Cormier, a member of the executive board for the
eastern region of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
Dave Lundy, a second OPSEU board member for eastern Ontario, warned that
if the changes proposed by the government are adopted the impact on
pensions could be dramatic.
"There's no question that the financial security of public sector
workers in their retirement years is very much under threat if the
government is allowed to wrest control of our members' life savings
away from them," said Lundy.
In this year's budget Finance minister Dwight Duncan put forward
proposed changes to public sector pension plans that will see employees
contributing more and where smaller pension plans will be "pooled" in a
bid, the government claims, to reduce administrative costs. In other
changes, where employers currently contribute more than employees the
ratio will be reduced to a 50-50 cost-sharing arrangement.
The changes represent a stunning attack on a pension system that has
been working smoothly, said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
"Since 1996 our members have controlled their contributions to the
Ontario Pension Trust. This allowed us to have an effective hand in
where that money was invested, reflecting our values and our members'
interests," said Thomas.
"What the government is proposing is nothing less than a power grab over
our members' retirement savings, leaving us with no meaningful voice in
the direction of pension investment. We will mount a very vigorous
campaign to block this move every step of the way," added Thomas.
The proposed changes by Queen's Park will affect hundreds of thousands
of contributors who currently work in the Ontario public service, LCBO,
hospitals, municipalities and at community colleges across the
For further information:
OPSEU Region 4 Executive Board Member