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WATCH: Government stands by retirement benefits decision

Public sector union considering legal action

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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  1. Jack posted on 02/19/2014 03:14 PM
    "Thomas says the union just received a phone call about this decision and wasn't consulted at all."

    Good! Maybe he'll see how it feels when we taxpayers are simply told that more of our hard-earned money is being confiscated to pay bloated public sector salaries without being consulted.
  2. Mark posted on 02/19/2014 03:15 PM
    Why the hell were we ever paying 100% of these benefits for the government pig workers is beyond me. Who ever came up with these programs was no doubt a liberal NDP idiot.
  3. Mark posted on 02/19/2014 03:18 PM
    OMG, could this be the first smart thing the liberal idiots have done in the past 10 year ?
    1. Jack posted on 02/19/2014 03:34 PM
      @Mark I think it's the second. The first was the Putting Students First Act, but then like idiots they repealed it and rewarded the teachers unions after all for their childish tactics.
  4. Frankie posted on 02/19/2014 03:21 PM
    While I understand the union being upset for not being advised it's about time the public sector remuneration starts falling in line with the private sector. If it's too much for retired workers to BEAR (CFRB should learn how to spell) they could always try the private sector where the guarantees are even less as are all the benefits.

    HOWEVER, don't be surprised if the Liberals made a back room deal with the unions; support us and if we get elected we'll reverse this stance. In which case the union posturing is all smoke (pardon the pun Smokey Thomas) and mirrors.

    If I had to bet I'd put my money on an under-handed deal.

    Just another reason to send those "thieving" Liberals packing.
  5. Jim posted on 02/19/2014 05:09 PM
    Why not hydro works including the boss bonuses be cut back also
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