Joint Letter to Premier July 21, 2015
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and Pension Coalition NB cannot accept the Shared Risk Plan.
The Shared Risk Plan was presented by the former government as entailing reform which, the Task Force affirmed, would produce a more secure, more affordable, transparent and sustainable pension plan.
We all know that this is not the case. Section 9.2 of “An Act Respecting Pensions under the PSSA (Bill 11)” makes it apparent that the Province sought protection for breach of contract and breach of trust for its taking away of pension benefits, which the Province was contractually obligated to pay. As well, the Province confiscated the Pension Trust Fund.
Jim Leech and Jacquie McNish in their book entitled “The Third Rail”, distributed by former Premier Alward to all members of his caucus, stated: “The reform’s most profound changes affected retirees. Planned new provincial legislation, the country’s most sweeping pension reform in decades, would allow shared-risk pension plans to expropriate certain rights of retirees”. It is in our collective view that the “reform” was much more draconian in that it also imposed on our current employees, terms which are not acceptable. These terms were not arrived at by agreement via collective bargaining. They were unilaterally imposed.
We believe that your government should explore and examine the implications of reform. The situation requires a more robust assessment of the action of the former government, which we are uniform in condemning. We believe it is in our mutual interest to ensure that all New Brunswickers understand the implications of what was done and why it was done and whether it should be a source of pride or shame.
We are prepared to actively participate in any assessment process. We collectively believe that this matter is of extreme urgency requiring your immediate attention.
PIPSC Pension Coalition NB
cc: Hon. Roger Melanson
Hon. Denis Landry
All Liberal MLAs (via email)