Pension protest in Charlottetown brings hundreds
Demonstrators unhappy with proposed changes to public sector pensions
Protesters gathered outside next to Province House in Charlottetown Friday to demonstrate against changes to public sector pensions planned by the Ghiz government.
About 450 people were at the rally. It was organized by the P.E.I. Union of Public Sector employees, which represents close to 5,000 workers.
Representatives and members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees were also there.
Those two unions are unhappy with what they call “severe cuts” to pensions.
They say proposed changes will mean employees will have to work longer before they can retire.
A number of speakers made references to the 7.5% wage rollback in the civil service made by the provincial government in 1993.
The rally also heard from NDP leader Mike Redmond and Opposition Leader Steven Myers.
Premier Robert Ghiz was away at meetings with provincial and territorial colleagues in Toronto.
Finance Minister Wes Sheridan spoke briefly to the crowd, saying he still believes the government's plan is the best way to handle pension reforms.
Last month Ghiz and Sheridan announced a retooling of public sector pensions, changes the government says are needed to make the plan sustainable.
Changes include removing the guarantee of an indexed pension, and increasing the length of time employees have to work to get a full pension.