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Your Pension Coalition at Work - May 25, 2013/Votre Coalition a L Oeuvre - le 25 mai, 2013

*Last week a four member Team met with the Minister of Finance. The meeting is not a negotiation process but rather an attempt to gain some understanding as to why the government has arrived at its position on our pension plan. We stated that we are not convinced the plan is in the magnitude of difficulties presented.

We have asked for an independent actuary to be shared with the Teachers group and to be chosen by the two groups. The actuary would review the work done by the government’s actuary and would be paid for from the pension plan. The first meeting with the government’s actuary and the Pension Coalition team is scheduled for May 31st. We will keep you informed as discussions continue. Meanwhile continue to keep this top of mind with your MLA and keep looking for answers.

* The Minister of Finance was also informed that we have a request for proposal out for legal services should legal action be required. Keep the pressure up on your MLAs, keep asking them for answers and keep sending us your letters.  The progress we are making is the result of many actions by all of you.

*A large number of PSSA retirees and retired Teachers have attended Question Period over the last 2 weeks.  Last week the Estimates of the Minister of Finance were debated in front of an impressive contingent of the Coalition retirees.  Retirees listened attentively to the drilling by the Opposition on pension related issues. Read the transcript of the questions and answers – the document is attached - and see how the story is evolving.

*Retired Teachers and PSSA pensioners continue to meet their MLAs. While the PSSA and TPA are two separate pension funds representing two separate group of employees, there has been open communication and sharing of information and expertise. There is a mutual understanding and support of the issues in dealing with Government.

*The Coalition submitted requests for information on March 14 and 18 to six Departments of the government for a total of 24 requests. Since only a limited number of responses have been received, official complaints were submitted on May 1 to the Office of the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner.  The Commissioner has responded and is investigating our complaints.

*On May 14, members of the Coalition also met with the Province of New Brunswick’s acting Ombudsman. The Ombudsman was told that the Coalition is concerned with the unfair and improper government administration of legislation and program concerning the pensions of non-bargaining retired public service employees and that we were deceived by officials about the true intention of the revisions the Province was proposing to our pension. The Coalition is waiting for a response from the Ombudsman Office.

*The Coalition is in the planning stages for a demonstration at the Legislature.  Date has yet to be confirmed.  Join us in numbers to fight against this illegal and immoral act.

*The Coalition understands that government representatives including Susan Rowland have been meeting with PSSA unions in an attempt to get their buy-in to the New Shared Risk Plan. We do question the motives of the Government that appears to want to pit one group against the other and are concerned with Union leaders signing on to something without factual information and proper consultation of their membership. The position of the Coalition remain that any change to the PSSA pension plan should be on a go-forward basis. If any active employees has a concern with or question for the Coalition, we would be pleased to respond.

*Four members of the Steering Committee of the Coalition met with the Auditor General-Kim MacPherson on May 21, to share our concerns about the PSSA pension reform process and the Shared Risk model. The concerns focused on the lack of transparency to date, long overdue right to information requests, failure of Government to provide any documentation to support its claim of a $1.0B deficit in the PSSA.  As of April 2012, failure to provide documented evidence for any aspect of the reforms, legal issues, lack of info regarding governance of the new model and procedures to be in place to ensure the plan is governed by trustees with appropriate competence. The Auditor General is now on notice.

*The Minister of Finance did confirm that Legislative changes would not proceed until the fall.

*Following likely pressure from retirees in the AcadianPeninsula, the government has decided to schedule an information session on their perspective on the PSSA pension plan and it’s conversion to the Shared Risk model.  This session is scheduled for May 28 @ 2:00 at Centre Bellefeuille des Chevaliers de Colomb in Tracadie-Sheila.  All retirees should be there in mass to ask the tough and yet unanswered questions to the Government.  We encourage you to check our website and familiarize yourself with the facts and insist on facts and precise answers.

*Continue writing your letters to your MLAs and keep looking for answers. Our fight is far from over. We are going into this discovery process with Government with our eyes wide open.

* Please reply with any questions or comments – the Coalition continues to work hard on your behalf.

*La semaine derniere, 4 representants de la Coalition ont rencontre le Ministre des Finances. La rencontre n est pas un processus de negociation mais tente de cerner comment le gouvernment est arrive a ses conclusions sur notre regime de Pension. Nous avons dit clairement au Ministre , que nous ne sommes pas convaincu de l ampleur du probleme financier du Regime. Nous avons demande d avoir acces a un actuaire independant de celui du Gouvernment et de partager les services de celui-ci (celle-ci) avec le Groupe  des Enseignants. La Coalition et le Groupe des Enseignants seraient responsable de la selection de cet actuaire. Le cout de l actuaire serait defraye par notre Fond de Pension. L actuaire verrait a verifier le travail de l actuaire du Gouvernement. La premiere rencontre avec l actuaire du Gouvernement et la Coalition est prevu pour le 31 mai prochain.  Nous vous garderons informe en ce qui a trait aux discussions. Entre temps continuer a retenir cet information et pressoriser vos Deputes de l Assemblee Legislative et demandez-leur pour des reponses. 

*Le Ministre des Finances a aussi ete informe que la Coalition a fait un appel d offres pour des services legaux, au cas si une poursuite legale est necessaire.  Donc, gardez la pression sur vos Deputes, ecrivez en nombre et demandez des reponses. Le progres que nous faisons est le resultat d actions de vous tous!

*Un grand nombre de retraites de PSSA (LPSRG) et des enseignants retraites ont participe a la Periode de Question a l Assemblee Legislative durant les 2 dernieres semaines. La semaine derniere , les credits budgetaires du Ministre des Finances etaient a l ordre et plusieurs retraites et membres de la Coalition ecoutaient attentivement aux propose du Ministre.  La transcription de l echange entre le Ministre des Finances et l Opposition est disponible sur notre site web au-- cliquez ici. Nous vous encourageons a lire attentivement les propos du Ministre et l evolution du dossier.

*Le 14 et 18 Mars dernier , la Coalition a fait une demande de 24 demandes d Acces a L information a 6 ministeres du Gouvernement.  Seulement quelques demandes ont ete repondus depuis. La Coalition a donc deposer des plaintes formelle Le 1er Mai, avec la Commissaire.  La Commissaire a repondu a notre requete et procede a un investigation.

*Le 14 Mai, certains membres de la Coalition ont aussi rencontre l Ombudsman par interim pour la Province du Nouveau-Brunswick. L ombudsman a ete informe que la Coalition est preoccuppe de l administration injuste et inapproprie du Gouvernment concernant le Regime de Pension et ce pour les personnes retratites sous ce regime. La Coalition maintient que les retaites ont ete trompes par les administrateurs du Regime de Pension . Une reponse est attendu du bureau de  L ombudsman.

* La Coalition est en phase de planification pour un rallye-demonstration a l Assemblee Legislative. La date sera confirme des que possible.  Venez en grand nombre et protestez avec nous cette injustice et geste illegal de notre gouvernment.

*La Coalition a ete informe que Mme Susan Rowlands rencontre presentement divers representants de Syndicats, avec l intention d avoir l appui de ceux-ci pour le nouveau Regime de Pension a Frais Partage,. La Coalition questionne les motifs du gouvernment , surtout lorsque aucunes informations est disponible pour faire une decision eclaire sur ce nouveau Regime.  La Coalition maintient sa position- que tout changements ne devrait pas  etre fait de facon retroactive.  Si tout employe actif a des preoccupations ou questions sur ceci, n hesitez-pas de nous contacter.

* Quatre membres du comite de direction de la Coalition ont rencontre Mme Kim MacPherson ce 21 mai, 2013, afin de partager nos preoccupations sur les gestes du Gouvernement sur notre Regime de Pension .  Mme MacPherson fut informe du manque de transparence du gouvernement a date, demandes d acces a l information non-repondus, un gouvernment qui a failli a fournir aucunes documentation qui justifie un deficit de $1,0 M de deficit en date du 31 mars 2012., un gouvernment qui ne presente aucunes evidences sur le besoin de reformes, problemes legaux, et  gouvernance du nouveau Regime avec des personnes competentes. La Verificatrice Generale Mme MacPherson est maintenant bien informee.

*Le Ministre des Finances a confirmer que le Gouvernment n introduirait de changements Legislatifs avant L automne prochain.

* Suite a des pressions sans doute de gens de la Pensinsule, le Gouvernment a finalement decider d offrir une session d information sur la conversion de notre Regime de pension au nouveau modele de Risque a Frais Partage. La session d information est prevue pour le mardi-28 mai @2:00 pm au Centre Bellefeuille -Centre Chevalier de Colomb a Tracadie-Sheila.  Avis a tout les retraites de la Region- soyez-y en grand nombre et visitez  notre site web afin de prendre connaissance de biens de questions non repondus par le Gouvernment. Exigez des reponses precise ainsi que des faits a l appui.

* Continuez a ecrire vos lettres a vos Deputes et demandez des reponses. Notre bataille est loin d etre gagne. Nous amorcons ses discussions avec le Gouvernement avec les Yeux grand ouverts.

La Coalition continue de travailler avec ardeur. SVP faites-nous part de vos commentaires et questions.