As a direct result of a CUPE court action the federal government has announced that it will allow the partners of its gay and lesbian employees to claim survivor pension benefits.
The decision comes after a number of court rulings in favour of CUPE’s argument that it should be allowed to provide survivor benefits to its employees. The federal government announced that it will not appeal those rulings.
“It’s a major, major policy shift,” CUPE President Judy Darcy told the media. “If the federal government is saying it’s not only not going to stand in the way by not appealing this, but also it’s prepared to open the door, well, it’s history in the making.”
However the struggle is not over yet. In order to make good on its promise the federal government has to amend a number of laws, including the Public Service Superannuation Act and others governing the pension plans of the RCMP and Department of Defence employees.
Some members of Parliament have told the media that the Reform party and some Liberal members are likely to oppose the legislative changes in the House of Commons.