"Our goal, and that of the broader labour movement, has been to ensure that our children and our grandchildren have strong and secure retirement security. Getting to this stage is a victory." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Ottawa (01 Dec. 2016) — Canada’s unions are celebrating today’s adoption by the House of Commons of Bill C-26, a legislation that will expand the Canada Pension Plan for the first time in the plan’s history.
Long campaign to expand CPP sees success
"This is a historic win for working people across the country," said Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "Our goal, and that of the broader labour movement, has been to ensure that our children and our grandchildren have strong and secure retirement security. Getting to this stage is a victory," said Ballermann.
“Winning a stronger CPP has been a key priority for us for years and is an excellent example of the good that can come from collaborative work between unions and governments at the federal and provincial level,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
“This increase will benefit today’s young workers the most, which is especially important in a world where good, secure jobs are so hard to come by, making saving almost impossible,” Yussuff added.
Grassroot campaign to build broad-base support for improvements to CPP
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,” Brown said. “We will continue to stay focussed on it until all Canadians can count on the dignified retirement they and their families deserve.”
Amendments needed to ensure women and workers with disabilities aren't discriminated against
"A number of concerns have been raised about how the legislation discriminates against parents who leave the workforce to care for children, something that disproportionately impacts women," noted Brown. "In a similar vein, the legislation hurts people with disabilities who leave the workforce to care for their health. I would think that the government would not want to leave these discriminatory elements in the legislation."
"In general, more must be done," admits Brown, "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,” she said. “We will continue to fight as hard as ever to stop that from happening.”
Facts on the Canada Pension Plan
CPP expansion has been a priority for Canada’s unions for decades, despite the fact that the majority of union members have pension plans at work. Here’s why:
- Fewer than 40 percent of Canadian workers have access to a pension plan at work. In the private sector, that number drops to less than 25 percent, and for workers under 29, to just 13 percent;
- Today, even workers with a workplace pension plan or alternate savings are vulnerable to financial insecurity in retirement. Fewer employers are offering workplace pensions and more workplace pensions are seeing reduced benefits;
- The CPP follows workers from job to job, keeps up with the cost of living, and pays out benefits for life, regardless of how the stock market performs.
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