OPSEU members were shocked to learn late in the day on February 18 that they will be forced to pay more for extended health benefits when they retire, a time in life when they can least afford new and rising costs. The government did not consult with OPSEU and no negotiations of any kind took place. Members have told their union that the government has broken its promise to them, implicit in the employment contract, that after providing many years of conscientious and professional service, they could look forward to a modest retirement.
Send an e-mail to the Premier today! Tell Kathleen Wynne you won’t be voting Liberal in the expected upcoming election unless the decision on retiree benefits is rescinded immediately.
Text of Email:
Your government’s changes to retiree benefits are a direct attack on the health and standard of living of me and my family.
I work as a [ __ ] at the Ministry of [ __ ]. I have worked for the Ontario government for [ __ ] years.
Forcing retirees to pay more for benefits will hurt lower-paid OPS employees more than higher-paid managers. The average OPSEU Pension Trust pension is $20,005. Combined with a typical Canada Pension Plan payout of about $7,000, the average OPT retiree earns about $27,000 a year before deductions. An extra health premium of $1,500 a year is equal to a 5.5 per cent pay cut for a family.
In contrast, for a senior OPS manager with a pension of (say) $75,000 a year including CPP, $1,500 is equal to just 2 per cent of annual pension income. The greater the retirement income, the less these changes hurt.
As far as I am concerned, your government's changes to retiree benefits are a violation of my employment contract. Retiree benefits are a vital part of my income and well-being.
Further, it is outrageous that you did not consult with my union and that no negotiations of any kind took place.
Your attack on my hard-earned retirement benefits has everything to do with politics. You have caved in to pressure from the Ontario PC Party which has long called for deep cuts to the wages and benefits of public employees.
I plan to vote in the next election. I won't be voting Liberal unless this decision is rescinded immediately.