"In Alberta in 2013, we proved that solidarity works. Many people from many backgrounds came together to defeat an unfair attack on workers. It’s time for us to step up to the plate and fight back this new attack,." — Mike Parker, HSAA President
Edmonton (17 Jan. 2017) — Mike Parker, President of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta has a reminder for his members. "When our pensions were under attack from the Progressive Conservative government of Alberta in 2013, we stood up, we fought back — and we won."
At the time, the government wanted to undermine the pensions plans to which many HSAA/NUPGE members belong, the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP) and the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP).
Campaign to protect pensions galvanized workers
A successful campaign was launched to stop the changes that would have wreaked havoc with the retirement of thousands of HSAA/NUPGE members and hundreds of thousands of other public sector workers.
Parker continues, "We did not win this battle alone. Thousands of Albertans joined the fight, attending rallies in the freezing cold, lobbying their MLAs and writing letters. Many of these were not members of HSAA/NUPGE or other public sector unions. Many were federal public servants. Many were private sector workers, some with no pensions of their own, who recognized that retirement security is important for everyone."
"Now, it’s our turn to help others who are facing a similar attack on their pensions," Parker said.
Federal government about to allow employers to back out of pension commitments
The federal Liberal government has introduced Bill C-27, legislation that would allow Crown corporations and federal private sector employers to back out of defined benefit pension commitments and switch to riskier and less secure target-benefit plans.
“This bill was announced without consultation or advance notice, though it directly contradicts election promises to stabilize and improve retirement security,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
The Public Service Alliance of Canada says: “If passed, this bill would open the door to a disturbing trend of shifting all the risk of pension plans onto workers and retirees.”
"In Alberta in 2013, we proved that solidarity works. Many people from many backgrounds came together to defeat an unfair attack on workers. It’s time for us to step up to the plate and fight back this new attack," said Parker.
You can help
Please sign the petition here:
You can also send a letter to the Finance Minister here:
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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