CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador is calling on the Board of Directors of the Trio Pension Plan to reconsider its decision to make dramatic and unilateral cuts to the plan that will affect the pensions of hundreds of municipal workers in the province.
CUPE Municipal Co-ordinator Ed White says, “The Trio Board recently made a significant change to how future pensions will be calculated, which will result in dramatically lower pension payments for future retirees, particularly for young municipal workers who are just beginning their careers. They did this with no consultation whatsoever with CUPE.
“This pension plan is an important part of the compensation for these workers. And these workers pay into this pension plan throughout their working lives. As a result of the recent change, young workers could see their future pensions cut by one-third or more, even though they are paying the same amount into the pension as older workers.
“The cuts to the pension plan were made entirely behind closed doors. In fact, CUPE did not even hear anything about the changes until after the Board had adopted a resolution to amend the plan and had informed employers about the proposed changes,” explains White.
CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, “CUPE has a proven record in many jurisdictions and sectors across the country of working with employers to find fair solutions to pension funding issues. This is not the only pension plan in the province, or the country, that is facing funding challenges.
“But because Trio did not bring the union into the discussion, the conclusion they reached favours the employers entirely. CUPE wants to sit down with the Board of Directors and begin exploring alternative solutions to the pension’s issues,” says Lucas.
The Trio Pension Plan is paid through contributions from workers and employers and investment earnings. The plan provides a defined-benefit retirement to many of the province’s municipal workers, including many CUPE members. CUPE represents seven municipal worker groups participating in this plan and CUPE members make up a significant portion of the overall membership in Trio.