Federal unions dealt another blow over pension surplus case

Ontario Court of Appeal upheld that the government had the legal authority to take the surplus when it passed Bill C-78 in 2000.

Ottawa (15 October 2010) – Federal public service unions have loss a second round in their battle to recover a $28 billion surplus the federal government took from the public service, military and RCMP pension plans over a decade ago to pay down the deficit.

Last week the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a a 2007 Superior Court of Justice decision which dismissed claims by 18 unions representing federal public service emplyees that the government breached the trust of plan members, violating its fiduciary duty and not meeting its obligations.

It also upheld that the government had the legal authority to take the surplus when it passed Bill C-78, the legislation that created a new pension plan and allowed the government to take the surplus.

The unions are in the midst of reviewing the decision in order to determine the next course of action.

Several of the unions led by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) have launched a second court case challenging the constitutionality of federal laws that forbid unions from bargaining pensions, staffing and job classifications for their members.

The unions argue the June 2007 Supreme Court decision that that ruled collective bargaining is a constitutional right of all Canadian workers paves the way to challenge the Public Service Labour Relations Act, which forbids the bargaining of pensions.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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

More information:

Biggest pension trial in Canadian history resumes in Ottawa



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