With another three meetings with Conservative MPs June 12, the union has kept the pension issue on the government agenda before Parliament breaks for summer. And, as during past MP briefings, we continued to win support from the Tory caucus for our request that the party fulfill its commitment to increase the pension accrual rate for correctional officers.
Our first meeting was with former police Chief David MacKenzie, the MP for the Ontario riding of Oxford and the Parliamentary Secretary to Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day. After a warm greeting, Mr. Mackenzie listened closely to our presentation and inquired about other public safety groups pursuing this modification.
We explained that we understand that higher pension accrual rates are sought by some police and fi refi ghters in BC and Ontario. However, many groups are not making this a top priority because of an aging workforce that is close to their maximum benefit already in terms of pension. Many groups are also administered on a municipal basis, with a wide variety of pension arrangements. Indeed, several police forces already have pensions that exceed what is sought by UCCOSACC-CSN.
Mr. MacKenzie talked about his police pension being 70 per cent after 30 years of service and wondered about our definition of a full pension. We answered that our goal was 70 per cent after 25 years, but that we are open to discussing many options to find a solution. Mr. MacKenzie indicated he would speak to the Treasury Board President Vic Toews about our request.
The next meeting took place with Glengarry- Prescott-Russell MP Pierre Lemieux. Mr. Lemieux was impressed with our presentation and said he was very familiar with our campaign, having read our most recent Hard Time magazine. He indicated to us that he also would be raising the issue with Mr. Toews and suggested that we continue to raise the issue with members of the cabinet if we have the opportunity.
Finally, we met with Sarnia-Lambton Member Patricia Davidson. After listening to our presentation, Ms. Davidson said she fully understood why we are bringing this issue forward. Ms. Davidson promised to read all the material we provided her and gave us suggestions for future meetings, indicating that Prince Edward-Hastings MP Daryl Kramp and Northumberland-Quinte West MP Rick Norlock both had justice / law enforcement backgrounds. Both are leads we intend to follow up on after the summer break.
Union of Canadian Correctional Officers - Syndicat des Agents Correctionnels du Canada - Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux
1601 De Lorimier Avenue, Montreal, Qc, H2K 4M5
Tél : (514) 598-2263 Fax : (514) 598-2493 Toll free : 1 (866) 229-5566 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org