CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador has rejected the extended contract proposed by the Government, which includes a major pension concession for members of the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP).

“In 2016, a deal was reached between the federal and provincial governments, including Newfoundland and Labrador, to enhance CPP benefits for all Canadians,” says CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador President Sherry Hillier. “It was agreed that both workers and employers would see a small increase in CPP contributions in order to pay for the enhanced CPP benefit.

“Now, instead of sharing the increased cost of CPP equally with workers, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador is trying to pass their increased CPP contributions onto workers by extracting concessions from the PSPP. This move would cancel the CPP enhancement for 34,000 workers in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

CUPE Lead Negotiator Ed White adds that PSPP members have already made sacrifices to ensure the Plan is sustainable. “Just five years ago, members agreed to higher contributions, a smaller pension benefit and shared responsibility for funding any deficit,” he says.

Hillier says it is doubly concerning that the people most affected by the PSPP concession are lower wage workers. “And the cuts to workers’ pensions will be much deeper than the marginal wage increase Government is attempting to trade for,” she adds.

“All workers in Canada deserve the expanded CPP; Newfoundlanders and Labradorians shouldn’t be left out.”