CUPE Ontario is demanding that Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government make drastic amendments to the OMERS Bill 206, or start over using a collaborative process that includes stakeholders.
Bill 206 is proposing changes to how OMERS, the Ontario Municipal Employees Pension Plan, is managed.
“The McGuinty government is trying to push through Bill 206, which now includes 46 last minute amendments made in December,” said Brian O’Keefe, secretary-treasurer of CUPE Ontario. “As it stands now, Bill 206 will make OMERS unaccountable to the members. CUPE cannot allow this to happen.”
The decision-making capacity of OMERS has been severely limited by the recent inclusion of a two-thirds voting majority requirement for the sponsors’ corporation board. McGuinty also took an axe to the original mediation/arbitration process by imposing a majority vote requirement. But perhaps the most cynical move of all was giving a group representing senior municipal managers a seat on the employee side of the table on both the sponsors’ corporation and the administration corporation. CUPE wants representation by population, a long-standing democratic tradition.
“OMERS has been based on fairness to all members but Bill 206 will bring that to an end,” O’Keefe continued. “The political deal-making has created supplemental benefits that will allow a minority — mostly higher paid men — enhanced benefits locked in forever. While the lower paid — mostly female members —- are locked out of benefits they may deserve.”
A meeting of CUPE Ontario leadership has been called for January 25th in Toronto. Attendees will consider a call for workplace votes that may result in job action.