Regina mayor wants pension talks to resume; employee groups not ready yet

The Canadian Press
August 7, 2014 06:45 PM

REGINA - The City of Regina is putting pressure on the employees’ groups to sit down and find a way to fix the deficit-ridden Civic Employees’ Pension Plan.

That plan is in a $290 million deficit and is in danger of being cancelled.

Mayor Michael Fougere says the employee group representatives must get back to the negotiating table immediately.

He says the city has reached out to them four times since the beginning of June but they have not agreed to any dates.

In mid-July the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority outlined how the plan is not in compliance with legislation.

Ending the plan would not only result in a reduction of benefits for plan members, but it could also leave a big hit to Regina taxpayers.

“People’s financial security is at risk and we will not allow anything to stop us from fixing the flaws in this plan,” Fougere said.

Employees are angry and confused, says Janet Craig, who is part of the negotiating team for the employees' groups.

“It’s not a matter of refusal,” she said. “A lot of people do not know how this plan works. We do have monthly meetings; we try to get educated on it. It’s complicated.”

She said they are trying to arrange a meeting with the superintendent of pensions, the provincial authority when it comes to pension plans.

Craig said they’d like to have that meeting first to clarify issues surrounding the plan’s governance structure.

Even with the current tug-of-war situation going on right now between the employees’ groups and the employers, Craig is still very optimistic a deal will get done before year’s end.

(CJME)


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