“The labour movement has stood tall on this issue, fighting for the dignified retirements of all Canadians. The agreement announced yesterday is a good start, but this campaign is far from over,” says NUPGE National President James Clancy.
Ottawa (21 June 2016) — For nearly a decade, the Canadian labour movement has been actively waging a campaign to protect the retirement security of all Canadians.
Yesterday, that campaign began to bear fruit when the country’s federal and provincial finance ministers announced they’d reached an agreement to bolster Canada Pension Plan benefits.
“The labour movement has stood tall on this issue, fighting for the dignified retirements of all Canadians,” says NUPGE National President James Clancy. “The agreement announced yesterday is a good start, but this campaign is far from over.”
Agreement falls short of labour's demand
From the inception of its campaign, the labour movement has been advocating a 100% increase in CPP benefits, but yesterday’s agreement will see benefits increase by a little more than 33%.
More must be done, says Clancy, because stagnant wages and a rapid decrease in the number of workplace pensions means that more and more retirees are left vulnerable.
“Even with this agreement, millions of Canadians will continue to face financial hardship and even poverty in retirement,” he says. “We will continue to fight as hard as ever to stop that from happening.”
The success of labour’s campaign so far leaves Clancy optimistic that the CPP can and will be expanded further.
Solid research, community campaigning
By conducting solid research, working in concert with credible allies such as the former chief actuary of the CPP, and reaching out year after year to community groups and everyday Canadians, the labour movement has been able to put retirement security on the public agenda and keep it there.
“Part of our success has been our ability to stay focussed on this issue,” Clancy says. “We will continue to stay focussed on it until all Canadians can count on the dignified retirement they and their families deserve.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE