P.E.I. Finance Minister Wes Sheridan says there is still room to negotiate with unions on civil service pension reform, despite the fact legislation has already been tabled.

Wes Sheridan -custom

Joint trusteeship with unions for public service pensions is possible, says P.E.I. Finance Minister Wes Sheridan, but not right away. (CBC)

The legislation for the civil service was tabled last week, and Sheridan said he will table legislation to change the teachers' pension on Tuesday.

The government is making the changes to deal with a $400 million shortfall in its pension fund. It is proposing to pay more into the fund and pay less out by raising the retirement age and removing guaranteed indexing.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees has countered with a proposal that would see government and the union share responsibility for pensions, which Sheridan rejects for now.

"We have to correct the listing of the ship first right? You don't want joint trusteeship of a sinking ship, and that's the point that you'd hear from any other union if you were to talk to them," said Sheridan.

"Once the ship is corrected, then joint trusteeship becomes more realistic."

Sheridan says the changes in the legislation introduced this fall should improve the pension shortfall enough that government can consider changes to pension governance in the spring.

CUPE is meeting with Sheridan Monday to represent its case for joint trusteeship.