Premier Dalton McGuinty must not allow any increase in pension contributions for the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) without significant changes in the way the plan is governed, says Sid Ryan, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
OMERS announced at a stakeholders meeting yesterday that it will be seeking a contribution increase in the range of one to two per cent in 2006. Unlike other major pension plans, which are jointly governed by employers and employees, OMERS is under provincial government control and must get approval for changes to the plan.
“McGuinty is already taking more money out of our members pockets with his new health premium,” Ryan said. “He must not let this board seize even more without a proper governance structure that gives us the ability to sit down and negotiate any contribution increases.”
While Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Gerretsen has said he will go to cabinet in January with plans to create a table for negotiating a new OMERS governance structure, Ryan said there is a need to begin now.
“Its time to stop the foot-dragging,” he said. “The unions and the employers in the plan are ready to start talking.”
Ryan said he was dismayed to hear OMERS representatives gloss over the current review of OMERS and Borealis investments by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) while raising options for increasing compensation to pension fund managers.
“These are the people who have dragged the plan into trouble with contribution holidays and questionable investments,” he said. “We pay them handsomely to look after our money. They have a lot of gall looking for ways to pay themselves more at the same time as they want our members to contribute more.”Premier Dalton McGuinty must not allow any increase in pension contributions for the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) without significant changes in the way the plan is governed, says Sid Ryan, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
For more information, contact:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066 (cell)
Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 616-616-6142 (cell)