A demonstration of retired and active workers has forced the cancellation of the annual meeting of the Régime de retraite des cols bleus de Montréal which was to take place Wednesday afternoon.

This pension plan is administered in trust by the city and the union. 

For some time now, tensions have raised between representatives of CUPE 301 and their counterparts with the City of Montreal over governance of the pension fund.

The union has denounced the unilateral decision by the Bureau des régimes de retraite de Montréal to move ahead, without the consent of the union trustees, and issued a call for tenders for actuarial services. This contract could end up costing the pension plan millions of dollars.

“No way were we going to have any part of sham democratic rules. For several months, representatives for the employer have been voluntarily steering us toward a minefield to conceal their inconsistent management of our pension plan. The City of Montreal is the only one of our 25 certified units that has taken this stance,” said Luc Bisson, president of the CUPE 301.

The union also deplores that fact that the plan is currently not being governed in the interest of the members, does nothing to ensure sustainability, and is not bringing in returns that could be used to index the retirees’ pensions.

The years during which the city decided not to collect contributions prior to 1982, which resulted in an estimated shortfall of $153 million, and years of anemic returns severely gutted the plan, which prompted the passing of Bill 15, An Act to foster the financial health and sustainability of municipal defined benefit pension plans.

The union has estimated that workers have collectively lost more than $90 million since the Coderre administration cancelled the indexation of pension plans.