Retired Saint John workers want spot on pension board
Group of retirees says members need a voice given the lack of information from city council
The president of the association representing retirees in the City of Saint John wants a spot on the pension board after council turned down a request to meet with members of his group on Monday.
The majority of councillors said they do not want to tinker with the membership of the board, which is made up of public appointees and union representatives.
They just proceeded with what they wanted to do and they've left the retirees out of it, out of all of the discussion.- Saint John Retirees' Association President Claude MacKinnon
In the past, retirees had a position on the pension board and Coun. Susan Fullerton said Monday she supports the request by retirees.
"The retirees are the most vulnerable group that we have with regard to the pension and I see no problem with allowing the retirees to come and meet with us. If you're not at the table then you're on the menu."
The position on the pension board for retirees was eliminated when it was converted to a shared-risk plan.
Retirees' Association president Claude MacKinnon says city council's refusal to file a written request for a meeting is typical of the way retirees have been treated since the switch.
"This whole business with the pension business has been about lack of information and, I guess, the lack of transparency," he said.
"They just proceeded with what they wanted to do and they've left the retirees out of it, out of all of the discussion."
Retired police officers satisfied
MacKinnon sat on the previous pension board and says there is now no way for his members to stay informed.
Meanwhile, Kevin MacDonald, the head of the association representing retired police officers, says he is satisfied that he is getting the news he needs from the police union member who still has a spot on the pension board.
"If the Saint John city police retired members association wasn't comfortable you'd certainly be hearing about it through me," MacDonald said.
He added even though he is satisfied, he isn't sure that not including city retirees on the pension board is fair.