Negotiations have barely started and already, the public attacks on postal workers’ pensions have begun. This week, the National Post ran an op-ed attacking postal workers’ pensions. Terrence Corcoran goes beyond all sane limits, not only painting a biased picture of the pension plan, but in fact blaming postal workers for “concocting” Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s glaring conflict of interest.
In Corcoran’s world there is nothing wrong with the Minister owning millions of dollars in shares in a company that manages pensions, while introducing legislation which would substantially change pension regulations. We think the public disagrees. Such a glaring conflict of interest raises questions about the impartiality of the Minister who introduced the legislation. Mr. Morneau would have been wise to place his assets in a blind trust, as he said he would before the election.
Corcoran goes on to blatantly distort the position of the union whose name he couldn’t even be bothered to get right. We are the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, not the Canadian Union of Postal Employees. We have never asked for government to subsidize our pension. Our position is actually the same position that Canada Post management put forward to the government in 2009. We believe that the solvency test is flawed, and makes little sense to apply to a crown corporation. It creates a crisis where there is none. It would make more sense for crown corporation’s pensions to have a similar regulatory framework as the Public Service Pension Plan, or the Canada Pension Plan. Those plans are managed on a going-concern basis. Corcoran conveniently fails to mention that the Canada Post Pension Plan has a going concern surplus of $1.8 billion.
Perhaps such mistakes could have been avoided if the author had bothered to contact us for comment before publishing.
The truth is, there is no crisis at Canada Post. The crown corporation is thriving on an influx of parcels as the shift from retail to online shopping accelerates. Our pension plan is sustainable and is not subsidized. Canada Post’s profits are increasing, while the solvency deficit is decreasing. It’s time to end the fear-mongering and respect postal workers for making Canada Post the success that it is.
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