PEI deputy ministers will no longer receive benefits for two pension years for every one year of work, but government wants to increase base pay by $50,000.
Charlottetown (21 July 2014) — The President of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (PEIUPSE/NUPGE), Debbie Bovyer, says “the province should apply the same changes to the deputy ministers’ pension as was recently applied to the civil service pension. The province’s Senior Compensation Plan provides deputy ministers a much more lucrative package than regular civil service employees receive, and regular civil service employees have had to withstand major changes to their plan.”
PEIUPSE/NUPGE supports elimination of deputy ministers' double pension
Bovyer agrees with the idea the Premier has been floating: to remove the deputy ministers’ double pension, whereby they receive benefits for two pension years for every one year they work. She also thinks the deputies should be contributing toward their second pension, which is fully funded by Islanders. “Most pension plans, whether in the private or public sectors, share contributions between the employee and the employer.”
President Bovyer also points out that the province’s Senior Compensation Pension Plan requires Islanders to cover any unfunded liability that occurs. She says “this needs to change as well. Regular civil service employees had their guaranteed indexing removed to help protect the fund in tough times. The province should institute similar measures in this case as well to help offset the occurrence of an unfunded liability.”
Unfair that workers in PEI have had their pensions reduced while deputy ministers receive pay increases, says PEIUPSE/NUPGE
“I don’t believe compensating deputies with bigger pay packages in light of potential changes to their pension is the answer,” says Bovyer. "Regular civil service employees did not receive any compensation in lieu of having their pensions reduced. In fact, they were asked to contribute more toward their pension and they responded. I am not against pay increases in general; however, the current suggestion to bump the deputy ministers’ pay by around $50,000 is excessive, especially when this money could be used more appropriately to improve necessary public services for the benefit of all Islanders and put civil service employees back to work. ”
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