Alberta public sector unions rally against pension changes
Union members also oppose government bills to limit bargaining rights
Alberta public servants held rallies in 30 locations across the province today to protest changes to their pension plans.
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In Calgary, several dozen union members defied the wintry weather to hold a protest outside the Foothills Medical Centre.
The provincial government wants changes to public sector pensions that would raise the age at which a plan member could retire on full pension. The change would also reduce the indexation of benefits.
Union officials say the changes, which would take effect in 2016, are being imposed unilaterally by the government.
Marle Roberts, Alberta president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), said public pensions are well-funded and any pension reforms must be negotiated.
"We are out here today to tell the government that our pensions are sustainable, that our pension is in good shape and to keep your hands off our pensions and do not legislate changes without meaningful consultation."
Guy Smith, head of the Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE), warned workers will leave the public sector because of these changes and they will have a negative impact on services to Albertans.
Smith said he is hopeful that Alison Redford's resignation will allow the provincial government reconsider the pension changes, as well as Bills 45 and 46, which would remove some collective bargaining rights like the right to arbitration.