Fredericton continues pension talks with police, fire unions
City hopes they'll sign on to shared-risk model
The City of Fredericton plans to continue informal pension talks with unions representing its police and fire departments, hoping they will agree to a new shared-risk model.
Earlier this week, the Labour and Employment Board ruled switching to the new plan would have be delayed until both groups have gone through arbitration hearings.
The chair of the city's superannuation board, Mike O'Brien, says if the police and fire unions refuse to go along with the shared-risk pension, it will cause some financial problems.
"For them to maintain the benefits they want, they're going to have to pay a lot more into the plan," O'Brien said.
"The trouble is, when we pay into a plan, the employer has to match it. The city, which represents the taxpayers," he said.
"As they say, the stomach is not there to put more into the plan."
In addition, if the police and fire unions don't agree to the shared-risk plan, O'Brien said it would be unfair to city workers in the other four unions that have agreed to the change, .
Fredericton council had unanimously approved a plan on March 18 to convert the city’s pension plan to a shared-risk model, which has been promoted by the provincial government.
Under the new plan, city employees will have to work longer with fewer guarantees. Pensioners will also see changes to their cost-of-living adjustment.
The city's current plan has a $60-million deficit.
The city is scheduled to go into arbitration hearings with firefighters in April and with police officers in June.