Regina - City Council and other employers in the Regina Civic Pension Plan must approve the contribution rate increase recommended by the plan’s actuary and work with employees groups to negotiate benefit changes to secure the plan’s future.
That’s the message employee groups in the Regina Civic Pension Plan will deliver to City Council’s Executive Committee when it meets later today.
“Civic employees have spent their working lives contributing to this defined pension benefit plan and they’re not going to let the employers destroy it by ignoring legal requirements and refusing to engage in a negotiated process,” says Kirby Benning, Chair of the Regina Civic Pension and Benefit Plan Employees’ Bargaining Committee.
The City’s Administration is urging the City’s Executive Committee to deny approval for the contribution rate increase recommended by the pension plan’s actuary last October.
“In doing so the City is advocating a position which is in direct violation of its legal obligations under the Plan, the Pensions Benefits Act, and the Collective Agreements,” CUPE’s legal expert Anne Gregory said in an April 4 letter to the Executive Committee .
Employee groups voted last December to support the contribution rate increase. They expect city council to do the same.
“Contrary to the employers’ claims, the sky is not falling. The Regina Civic Pension Plan is sustainable,” says Clare Pitcher, an independent actuary who has reviewed the plan’s funding position. He noted thereare a number of viable options to make the plan affordable over the long-term.
“We know negotiated changes are required to secure the health of our plan and reduce contribution rates,” says Benning. He urged employers to resume negotiations so the parties can find a negotiated solution. The employers in the plan have refused to meet since December.
The Regina Civic Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan that covers 3,900 members working for five major employers: the City of Regina, the Regina Public School Board, the Regina General Hospital, the Regina Public Library and the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant.