Decision to Grandfather Pension Plan for Newly Elected MHAs Insulting to the Public and Public Sector Workers

For Immediate Release:

Thursday, December 8, 2016

ST. JOHN’S, NL– Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) President Jerry Earle says he was shocked and appalled by the government’s decision to protect the pension plan for 20 newly elected MHAs last night, despite the initial recommendations from the Members’ Compensation Review Committee (MCRC) to do otherwise.

“Is this one of the difficult decisions that the government said would have to be made in tough times?” asked Earle. “It is absolutely incredible that the government had the gall to pull this off at a time when the people of the province have suffered through regressive tax increases and cuts to public services and when our members have been through layoffs, cutbacks, and office closures. This sort of decision only serves to breed cynicism about the political process in the public.”

Last evening, the House of Assembly Management Commission altered the recommendations of the MCRC and opted to keep the current pension plan for the 20 newly elected MHAs. This decision will cost the people of the province approximately $3.6 million.

“Public sector workers in the Public Service Pension Plan had to raise their retirement age and pay more premiums in order to make their plan more stable in the long run,” said Earle. “Our members have made sacrifices. Clearly, the MHAs, despite all their bluster and double speak on MHA pension reform during the election, aren’t willing to do the same.”

“To put this entire fiasco into perspective, the $3.6 million this decision will cost is approximately twice the ‘savings’ of cutting 24-hour snow-clearing for our province’s highways,” continued Earle. “I can tell the government one thing, we will not soon forget this decision.”

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For further information, please contact:

Keith Dunne, NAPE Campaigns and Communications Coordinator

(phone) 709.570.2501    (cell) 709.631.9737      (email)