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Harperites ain’t so “handsome”

And so it begins.

PS union leaders are meeting with the President of the Treasury Board, Stockwell “cavemen fought dinosaurs” Day to talk about what they should expect in the next budget, due to be released on March 4th. And federal public servants are justifiably afraid of what the budget may have in store for the PS pension plan – already described by Jimbo Flahtery as “handsome”.

I’ve gone on and on about the PS pension plan, as have others. And if you are in the PS, you pretty much like the status quo, but if you are not, you pretty much think that the pesnions are already way too generous for a buncha lazy good-for-nothing bureaucrats.

So I’m not going to rant on and on about this yet again, except to say this:

Mr. Day, changing the rules of the game is OK if those new rules apply to new employees. They can make the decision whether or not to pursue as a vocation, a career in the PS. The rules of the game are up front and transparent.

But if you dare to change the rules for those of us who have worked hard under the assumption that what we signed on for would still be in place when we retire, then, Mr. Day, you will be in for a fight.  Mark my words.


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  1. trashee says:

    @XUP – like they already have and will continue to do so. I never intended that VERY BIG BOX on my pay stub that contains the VERY BIG amount I contribute to my OWN pension to be used to make up for the current government’s massive incompetence. Well, at least I don’t remember signing anything authorizing them to do so – but that might be the concussion talkin’…

  2. XUP says:

    For all the people who are crying because they don’t have pensions, so we shouldn’t either — what if the government decided to annex your RRSPs to pay off the national debt? Would you be in favour of that, too?

  3. trashee says:

    Like I said, I’m OK – don’t like – but am OK with hiring and pay freezes. Go ahead Harper – it will cost you three seats in and around Ottawa.
    But hands off of my pension. Our union has NEVER been on strike, but this is the one issue that would force us out.
    Chretien/Martin weren’t much worse stealing from the PS pension fund and fighting the deficit on the backs of the PS, but at least didn’t change pension rules midstream.

  4. XUP says:

    I’m okay with a wage freeze for the next contract. I’m okay with continuing to work in a no-frills environment. I’m okay with a hiring freeze which means I continue to do 2 or 3 people’s job. But the pension plan is something I have been paying into since I started with the federal public service. That’s my money they’ve been using all these years. Why should I give that up? Again, they’ve already spent the $30 Billion surplus from a few years ago to pay down the national debt. Is that what federal pension plans are set up for now? Whenever we need extra money, we just hold up federal public servants because no one likes them anyway and it makes for good pre-election press?

  5. Ken says:

    Everyone else is feeling the pinch, and people working for other organizations are all equally affected if changes are made to the pensions.

    Why should the Public Service be treated differently? If everyone else is being affected by the current economy, why shouldn’t the PS?

  6. XUP says:

    Ya, there are some high-level games afoot here in which we are the pawns. They propose some outrageous and sweeping pension cuts. Public servants get all crazy with rage. Lo – there’s a contract re-negotiation. Somehow our wonderful unions manage to get less sweeping cuts to our pensions as long as we accept a wage freeze. But before all that happens we’ll be called out on strike for 2 weeks to save the government a nice pile in wages for that time. In the end, the unions look good. The government looks good for trying to make cuts in “their own shop” and gets re-elected. And we’re scammed into actually being happy that we have to give up a bit of our pensions and cost of living increases for 3 years.

  7. dave1949 says:

    There can’t be anything in life quite so ironic as a politician already double dipping by sucking up an Ontario pension calling anyone else’s pension handsome.

  8. XUP says:

    I’m not sure what to make of all this. Is this just union posturing to get public servants all riled up in preparation for our next contract re-negotiation? As the article you link to states, economic advisors are advising against paying down the deficit at this time and keeping up with stimulus spending NOT cutting services. And hey, by the way remember back in 1999 when the government “borrowed” the $30 billion federal pension surplus to pay down the national debt? I believe that matter is still before the court as federal employees sort of think that money belongs to them.

    1. trashee says:

      I dunno. But it is a pretty big bargaining chip.
      Figger the $35 billion price tag for wages an salaries and figger a wage freeze for 3 years… at 1.5% per year (what we have been getting lately), the Gov would save over $1.5 billon in increases over the 3 year period.
      So the Harperites say “look, we won’t touch pension benefits for existing workers, but you have to sign on to a 3 year wage freeze plus a hiring freeze.”

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