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MONTREAL - The Canadian Union of Public Employees voted overwhelmingly today to develop a strategy to protect and improve pensions for all Canadians. The strategic direction was adopted in front of a crowd of over 2,200 delegates at CUPE’s 24th national convention in Montreal.

CUPE National President Paul Moist says charting a new course for workplace pensions in Canada will require buy-in from all sides. “To truly fix our pension system, we need to get all stakeholders involved. This should not be a competitive issue – everyone needs to play a part.”

The economic crisis and corresponding crash of financial markets has exposed a dire need to revamp the pension system in Canada. “Across the country, too many working people are discovering that the pension plans they once thought were secure are anything but,” says Moist.

CUPE’s strategic directions document recommends that pensions be required as a condition of employment. Stakeholders working together could also establish government regulated or owned plans, or large multi-employer plans.

CUPE will devote resources to lobbying for a number of pension initiatives and reforms, including:

  • Establishing a national system of pension insurance
  • Urging the federal government to convene a national summit on pensions
  • Defending pensions from dismantling efforts by corporations and/or governments
  • Lobbying to change Bill C-51 so that there are no penalties for accessing CPP at age 60
  • Expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to more workers
  • A doubling of CPP benefits so that it provides up to 50 per cent of the average wage.

CUPE Media Relations – 613-818-0067