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CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan told media today that members would strike if the government introduced its OMERS reform bill 206 for third reading without making changes to it.

The union has been conducting strike votes across the province. Members in 19 areas of the province have voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike.

CUPE’s main concerns about Bill 206 are:
  • A two-thirds majority of the OMERS board would have to any benefit improvements or contribution rate changes. This will make it virtually impossible for union to make any improvements to the basic plan.
  • Bill 206 weakens the employees’ control over the plan by giving a senior management an employee seat on the pension board.
  • Disputes will be harder to settle and will be more likely to favour employers.
  • The cap on benefits still exists in the Ontario Municipal Act so unions will have a harder time improving basic pension benefits.
  • Bill 206 gives preferential treatment to predominantly male and higher-paid police and firefighters. CUPE members will have to win two-thirds majority support for pension improvements.
Ryan called on Premier Dalton McGuinty to start a proper consultation process for changing the way OMERS is governed.