HALIFAX – Unionized employees with Halifax Water say their employer continues to mislead employees and ratepayers about critical details of its pension proposal. CUPE Local 1431 President Heather Corkum says, “In a newspaper ad which ran on Saturday, May 16, Halifax Water presents a highly-selective, one-sided version of its proposal to the union.”
“In fact, their proposal would roll back pension benefits by about 30 per cent of the present plan’s value. And by costing out impacts of cuts on longer service employees only, the harsher effects on our shorter service members and our newly-hired members are covered up.” says Corkum.
CUPE Local 227 President, Dave Dort, meantime, says, ‘What’s also misleading is that the print ad outlines only a portion of their latest offer, ‘Option 3’ which was tabled on May 7. They left out the part of the proposal that had been off the table for some time, but had been slipped back in with Option 3.
“This was partial inflation indexing that only affects the highest income earners in the pension plan, those making $150K or more. In other words, it would only benefit certain managers, which actually raises the cost of the plan that they say they need to reduce. This was somehow missing from the newspaper ad version of their proposal.” says Dort.
Asks Dort, “So have they now changed their proposal, or are they simply leaving out the perks for managers?” CUPE says it is willing to go back to the table, but at this critical point in bargaining, Halifax Water should be more interested in bargaining with its employees rather than attempting to mislead ratepayers.
Local 227 represents 230 outside workers with Halifax Water, while Local 1431 represents 105 inside workers.