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ST. JOHN’S - The president of CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador says seven locals affected by dramatic cuts to the TRIO Pension Plan met January 17 to map out a strategy for fighting those cuts.

Wayne Lucas says, “As the bargaining agent for the majority of participating municipalities in that pension plan, CUPE is extremely disturbed by these changes and the manner in which they came about. Our youngest members have been told they can expect reductions of up to 30 per cent.

And the Board members at TRIO made this decision with virtually no consultation with the union or the people who are actually in the pension plan,” he says.

Lucas says the centre-piece of the union’s fight-back strategy is a court challenge which is being supported by our national union. He says it is the first time a legal challenge like this has been made in the civil courts.

The seven locals will also be requesting meetings with the mayors and councils whose employees are in the TRIO pension plan to explore CUPE’s alternatives to the dramatic cuts in benefits. We are optimistic that those requests will be met with a positive response.

Says Lucas, “If reasonable lead time had been provided, CUPE could have used its considerable expertise in pensions to enter into meaningful dialogue about the plan.  CUPE is a recognized leader in the area of pensions and benefits.  We have provided assistance to many governments and public employers who were facing difficulties with their pension plans.  And, we have successfully reached solutions,” he says.

TRIO is operated by Newfoundland & Labrador Municipal Employee Benefits Inc. (NLMEB). The seven affected municipalities are Mount Pearl, Conception Bay South, Placentia, Glovertown, Holyrood, Gambo and Marystown.

For more information, please contact:  

Wayne Lucas   
CUPE NL President
(709) 727-2509

Ed White    
CUPE Municipal Co-ordinator
(709) 753-0732

John McCracken
CUPE Atlantic Communications Representative
(902) 880-8057