“I’m as pleased as punch that we can take away some anxiety that some members might have about their retirement income." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (26 April 2018) —Thousands of members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) and other workers now have an opportunity to get a pension thanks to a deal involving the Broader Public Sector (BPS), charitable and non-profit groups.
New pension plan considered "game changer"
The finishing touches were put to the agreement on the eve of OPSEU’s Convention, and President Warren (Smokey) Thomas signed the deal on stage to the applause of nearly 2,000 OPSEU/NUPGE members.
"The OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust) Select defined benefit jointly sponsored, jointly trusteed pension plan is a game-changer," said Thomas. "Many Ontario workers in the public service currently have no access to a workplace pension. This world-class new plan will help fix that."
“I’m as pleased as punch that we can take away some anxiety that some members might have about their retirement income,” said Thomas, who noted that many of the members who will benefit are women.
Hundreds of thousands of workers — not just union members — will benefit from pension
OPTrust Select is an affordable plan that may cover more than 25,000 members of OPSEU/NUPGEworking in the BPS, as well as some 600,000 full-time and 300,000 part-time workers who aren’t union members.
The plan offers matching contributions of 3 per cent by the employee and 3 per cent by the employer, as well as an annual accrual of 0.6 per cent of earnings.
It also includes earnings upgrades and cost of living increases conditional on the plan’s funded status and annual Board approval.
Reliable, secure pension key to a good job, and life after
Len Elliott and Gareth Jones, who are both OPSEU Executive Board members, were key to the pension negotiations, and they are giving credit to the power of the union movement for the creation of this historic new pension plan.
Thomas said he is proud of OPSEU/NUPGE’s efforts to broker this magnificent achievement, also noting the significant role that union staff played in making a better future for thousands of members.
“This pension option is a chance for better retirement, better security, and a better life for so many working people. A reliable and secure pension is a key part of a good job," said Thomas.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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