TORONTO — The Ontario government should stop Bill 206 and set up a process whereby employees and employers can negotiate a workable model for governing the OMERS pension plan, says the Coalition for OMERS Pension Fairness.
- Background on OMERS dispute resolution process [CUPE Ontario]
The governance model contained in Bill 206 is discriminatory and unfair, said the coalition, whose members include the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, and the Municipal Retirees Organization of Ontario (MROO). All four unions and the retiree organization, which have been working for many years to win joint control of OMERS, agree that the following issues have to be corrected in the Bill:
- The Sponsors Corporation will be controlled by a 2/3 voting requirement for benefits and contribution rate changes. This was not the case in the version of Bill 206 that the government introduced in June and it is plainly an anti-democratic voting requirement that rigs the governance process in favour of a minority and against the majority. This is unprecedented in major public sector pension plans across Canada and it will lead to failed decision-making and stalemate.
- Compounding the 2/3 voting requirement is another late amendment to Bill 206, which will deny access to mediation and arbitration in the event of a deadlock. In the original Bill, mediation and arbitration was loosely based on the Ontario teachers’ plan model, which is what was promised by Dalton McGuinty to the chair of the OMERS Board in October 2002. Because of an amendment at second reading, a majority vote is now required to access this process, which defeats the whole purpose of resolving deadlock.
Coalition members are adding their voices to the chorus of others, including the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, who have called on the provincial government to create a negotiation table with a defined timeline for employer, employee and retiree organizations to decide a fair model for a self-governed pension plan.
For more information, contact:
Shirley McVittie, OPSEU
Jacob Leibovitch, SEIU
Cara MacDonald, CAW
Pat Daley, CUPE Communications
(416) 299-9739 Ext. 264
Don MacLeod, MROO