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North Bay – North Bay Hydro is trying to shift the cost of its poor management practices onto employees who retire in the future, CUPE Local 72 says.

In a newspaper advertisement that appeared today, the company said it cannot afford to continue pension benefits that workers have enjoyed for decades because a contribution holiday for the pension plan is coming to an end. Both employers and employees have had a break in making contributions to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS).

This is a bogus excuse for taking away pension benefits,” said Local 72 President Ken Hull. Thirty-five union members have been on strike for a week over this issue. “Every employer and every employee in the province that belongs to OMERS knew the contribution holiday was coming to an end. What did North Bay Hydro do with the money they saved ?”

Hull noted that North Bay Hydro management, as well as police, firefighters and municipal employees, also belong to the OMERS pension plan, which is regulated by the provincial government. The contribution holiday saved millions of dollars for employers. Many municipalities used the money to offset the costs of provincial downloading – a problem that has not faced North Bay Hydro.

Hull called on North Bay Hydro to return to the bargaining table and discuss the issue.

That’s what negotiating is all about,” Hull said. “If the company is running into trouble because of poor planning or poor money management, the place to talk about it is at the table, not in newspaper ads.”

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For further information, please contact:
Ken Hull, President, Local 72
705-472-1054
Steve Boyle, CUPE National Rep
705-474-9765
Pat Daley, CUPE Communications
416-292-3999