Shared Risk? OMERS indexing dispute fits pattern of attacks

The Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System (OMERS) Sponsors Corporation Board of Directors will be voting on whether or not to scrap guaranteed indexing for members in favour of a proposal they call “Shared Risk,” on June 24.

OMERS is a defined benefit plan for about half a million municipal workers in Ontario, including school board and Children’s Aid Society employees, library workers, police, firefighters and paramedics. This is not the first time the plan have tried to push this cut on Ontario workers. In 2018, Rankandfile.ca reported on a previous attempt by the pension fund to push for conditional indexing. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) campaigned against this change then, and they are fighting again now.

CUPE members represent 45% of the OMERS pension plan membership. Rankandfile.ca spoke to the CUPE about their current campaign and what this change would mean for Ontario municipal workers.

Read the full story at rankandfile.ca.

Ontario’s education workers inch closer to strike position

Last week, negotiations between the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ (CUPE) bargaining agent the Ontario School Board Council of Union (OSBCU) and the province move to mediation as bargaining makes no progress for the 55,000 education workers CUPE represents across Ontario.

RankandFile.ca spoke with OSBCU President Laura Walton about the role of the government and Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) in the lack of progress in negotiations.

“We have done as much as we possibly can,” she says. “We have come up with solutions, we have heard concerns, we have offered alternatives. But we’re not willing to take less for our members who are already making less than they were making five years ago. We’re not willing to do that. And I don’t think the public undervalues us in the same way that we’re seeing from the government and or from the [CTA].”

Read the full story at rankandfile.ca.

Bargaining stalled for Ontario’s education workers

On July 31, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) filed for conciliation after 10 days of bargaining with the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) and the provincial government. RankandFile.ca spoke with Laura Walton, President of CUPE’s provincial bargaining agent, the Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU), to discuss bargaining so far and the issues at stake for the 55,000 education workers they represent across Ontario.

Read the full story at Rankandfile.ca.

Victory at OMERS

On November 15, representatives from employers and unions with members in the OMERS pension plan came together to vote on changes proposed in June. The result was 50% plus one in favour of the changes, a thin majority that fell short of the two-third majority required to make changes to the OMERS pension plan.

Read the full story at Rank and File.

CUPE fighting scare tactics at OMERS

In June, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) announced it would be voting on a number of changes that would hugely impact the 500,000 workers that contribute to it across Ontario in November.

According to Fred Hahn, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario, at the latest OMERS sponsors meeting the plan presented skewed numbers to convince union representatives that changes to the pension plan are necessary to protect workers.

“It’s all about the math!” he explains. “The math is like an equation and if you plug various pieces into an equation the output will be whatever you plug in. If you plug in a bunch of terrible looking variables, then the outcome could make it look like the plan’s in trouble. That’s not true.”

Read the full story at Rank and File.