The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) Sponsors Corporation Board of Directors will be voting on whether or not to scrap guaranteed indexing for members in favour of a proposal they call “Shared Risk,” on June 24.
OMERS is a defined benefit plan for about half a million municipal workers in Ontario, including school board and Children’s Aid Society employees, library workers, police, firefighters and paramedics. This is not the first time the plan has tried to push this cut on Ontario workers. In 2018, Rankandfile.ca reported on a previous attempt by the pension fund to push for conditional indexing. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) campaigned against this change then, and they are fighting again now.
CUPE members represent 45% of the OMERS pension plan membership. Rankandfile.ca spoke to the CUPE about their current campaign and what this change would mean for Ontario municipal workers.
“It’s really unsettling because our members and our union – as the largest sponsor in the plan – have been clear from the beginning that we are opposed to this change,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.
“If they were really there for the plan members,” Hahn continued, “Then [OMERS] would be finding every other option possible before exploring a concession like that.”