REVP Marianne Hladun criticizes one-sided opinion piece

Regional Executive Vice-President Marianne Hladun submitted the following letter to the editor in response to the Aug. 31, 2012 opinion piece by Colin Craig, Prairie director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, printed in the Winnipeg Free Press. Excerpts from this letter were published in the Letters to the Editor section of the Winnipeg Free Press on Sept. 7, 2012.

Colin Craig’s misleading editorial “Public servants’ costly pay-packet hat trick” is as offensive and it is illogical. And, blatantly untrue.

Federal government employees contribute more than 10 cents of each dollar earned to both the Federal Public Service Pension Plan and the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan.

Their contributions are factored into the cost of the compensation package and are by no means a gift. Also, employees pay taxes towards the government’s contribution.

These sustainable plans pose no undue risk to Canadians. In fact, the chief actuary of Canada reports that the Federal Public Service Pension Plan is adequately funded and is viable. The pension funds are managed according to actuarial projections that spread the risk across generations and over a very long time horizon.

The average annual pension received by retired federal public sector workers is around $24,500 (according to 2009 figures), a modest amount to allow workers to keep food on the table and retire with dignity.

Mr. Craig, on the other hand, would prefer individuals to fend for themselves and rely on the market to accumulate savings for retirement. But the effect this would have on communities and the Canadian economy would be devastating.

Pensioners spend their money in their local communities, helping local businesses to survive and thrive, while these funded plans provide billions of dollars worth of investment in the Canadian economy. The only ones who would benefit from Mr. Craig’s absurd three-point plan are big businesses, banks and insurance companies.

As I see it, the only “raw deal” here is subjecting readers to Mr. Craig’s deluded, one-sided editorial, in favour of defending corporate employer interests.

Perhaps next time he should leave the hat tricks to Evander Kane.

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