NEWS
 
WATCH: Government stands by retirement benefits decision
Public sector union considering legal action
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The province is standing by yesterday's late day announcement. The government is deciding to scale back its contribution to the health benefits of retired public sector workers by half for those retiring in 2017 and beyond. Right now it pays 100 per cent.

It also made eligibility stricter.

While Minister of Government Services John Milloy calls the province's decision fair for both sides, he points  the province will benefit from what he says is $1 billion in savings as Ontario tried to pay down its deficit.

But the union representing public sector workers is fuming, saying the timing of all of this is suspect.

OPSEU president Smokey Thomas says 2017 is when the province hopes to pay down the deficit, on the backs of retired workers.

He says the costs to retired workers will be too much for them to bare with decreased retirement income.

Thomas says the union just received a phone call about this decision and wasn't consulted at all.

They are now considering legal action against what he calls a unilateral decision.
 
However, Milloy says this was something the government had the power to decide by themselves and didn't need to negotiate.

Opposition is split on the move. Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says it's about time this happened. But he's expecting the Liberal to waste the money on another scandal or executive salaries. NDP leader Andrea Horwath says she's surprised the Liberals would try to impose something on union workers.

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The province is standing by yesterday's late day announcement. The government is deciding to scale back its contribution to the health benefits of retired public sector workers by half for those retiring in 2017 and beyond. Right now it pays 100 per cent.

It also made eligibility stricter.

While Minister of Government Services John Milloy calls the province's decision fair for both sides, he points  the province will benefit from what he says is $1 billion in savings as Ontario tried to pay down its deficit.

But the union representing public sector workers is fuming, saying the timing of all of this is suspect.

OPSEU president Smokey Thomas says 2017 is when the province hopes to pay down the deficit, on the backs of retired workers.

He says the costs to retired workers will be too much for them to bare with decreased retirement income.

Thomas says the union just received a phone call about this decision and wasn't consulted at all.

They are now considering legal action against what he calls a unilateral decision.
 
However, Milloy says this was something the government had the power to decide by themselves and didn't need to negotiate.

Opposition is split on the move. Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says it's about time this happened. But he's expecting the Liberal to waste the money on another scandal or executive salaries. NDP leader Andrea Horwath says she's surprised the Liberals would try to impose something on union workers.

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