Canadian Labour Congress urges larger CPP

National plan would grow to cover half of current salary
By Gordon Sova
||Last Updated: 11/27/2009

Given the aging demographic of employees in many unionized sectors — primary, manufacturing, healthcare, public service — it comes as no surprise that unions have spent a lot of time and energy on pensions recently. First, it was the fight to save the defined-benefit pension plan. At roughly the same time, many collective agreements were trading wage increases for pension increases.

The fight for DB pensions was often lost: even the Steelworkers making it a strike issue was not sufficient to stem the tide. Still, as last week’s Teamster demonstration in support of Nortel retirees shows, failure has not been admitted in every case. However, these efforts strike the observer as a rearguard action designed to save what can be rather than one to shore up or even add to the number of DB pensions.