Debate on public pension reform closed

Debate on public sector pension reform concluded in the P.E.I. legislature Thursday night.

Unions vow to continue pension fight in next election

Debate on public sector pension reform concluded in the P.E.I. legislature Thursday night.

UPSE president Debbie Bovyer says the government has won this battle on pension reform, but not the war. (CBC)

The Opposition introduced two amendments: one to protect current pensioners and those retiring by the year 2017, and another to remove a clause shielding government from liability for any legal action over the changes.

Both were voted down by government.

UPSE president Debbie Bovyer was one of a number of union reps in the gallery to watch the debate. She said the government has won the battle, not the war.

"Our next move will be planning our campaign for the election in 2016," said Bovyer.

"We will be moving towards electing a different party. And a different party means a different employer. And see what progress we can make in getting this bill changed."

Bills to amend the civil service and the teachers' pension acts passed second reading Thursday night. With the government holding 23 of 27 seats they should easily pass third reading when the legislature sits Friday.

The changes are being introduced to improve the sustainability of the pension funds. UPSE and the Canadian Union of Public Employees agree that change is needed, but argue the government plan goes too far.

It is expected the fall sitting of the legislature will end Friday.


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