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ST. JOHN’S, NLCUPE NL president Wayne Lucas will meet today with the province’s finance minister to talk pension reform.

Lucas said, “We want to put the spotlight back on the retirement income crisis and let those in government know we are continuing our efforts to win an increase in Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits.

We’ll be encouraging all of the premiers to stay focused on this goal as well,” he said.

We think the public in Newfoundland want their government to be part of the solution to solve the pension and retirement income crisis faced by so many Canadians.  All Canadians should have the right to a decent, secure income in retirement.  But 11 million Canadians have no workplace pension,” explained Lucas.

Earlier this summer, federal and provincial finance ministers agreed to consider a modest, phased-in and fully-funded enhancement of CPP benefits. CUPE saw this as a very positive development.

Lucas said, “The position our provincial government takes is important because changing the CPP will require the support of at least two-thirds of the provincial legislative assemblies representing not less than two-thirds of the population.”

CUPE supports a phased-in doubling of CPP benefits to a maximum of $23,000 a year.

CUPE also endorses an increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to help lift hundreds of thousands of pensioners - mostly women - out of poverty.

Lucas says CUPE has a proud tradition of fighting for decent pensions for all Canadians.  He’ll be joined in today’s meeting with the finance minister by CUPE National pension campaign co-ordinator Leanne MacMillan.

For more information, contact:

Wayne Lucas     
CUPE NL president   
Cell: (709) 727-2509

John McCracken 
CUPE Communications
Tel: (902) 455-4180