Nova Scotia Power outsourcing compromise reached
New hires to lose defined benefit pensions
Nova Scotia Power and the union representing 840 linemen and other workers have reached a deal that takes outsourcing off the table for a decade but sacrifices a defined benefits pension plan for new hires at the utility.
"It's job security for the workforce today and saves costs for ratepayers," says Jeff Richardson, business manager for IBEW Local 1928.
Current employees will keep the defined benefits pension plan. New hires will be enrolled in a defined contribution pension plan, which is generally recognized as less generous for the worker.
Richardson tells CBC News Friday, terms of the defined contribution plan are still being worked out. The deal secures the defined benefits plan for 15 years.
"That should take care of just about everybody here today. Any changes to that plan would have to be negotiated with the union," said Richardson.
In a statement ,NSP said the agreement was ratified by a majority of the union membership Friday.
"This is certainly a positive result for our company and, most importantly, for our employees," NSP president Bob Hanf says in the statement.
"The ratified agreement will result in long-term cost savings, while also providing further security for our employees in the years to come."
Last year, NSP announced it was looking at outsourcing all unionized positions as part of an effort to deliver $27-million in cost savings it had promised the Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Board during a rate hearing.