New Brunswick premier blames national leadership of union for pension stance

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FREDERICTON - New Brunswick Premier David Alward is blaming the national leadership of the Canadian Union of Public Employees for a change in the union's stance on proposed pension changes in the province.

Alward says the provincial wing of the union was supportive of the plan to move to a shared-risk model for pensions and he doesn't know why that would change now.

But the president of CUPE New Brunswick says decisions about pensions are made at the local level.

Danny Legere says the shared-risk model being pushed by the provincial government was the best option for some unionized workers such as hospital staff, but it would not be the best choice for others who have defined benefit plans.

Legere says the union is hiring an actuary to study the proposed pension changes and will consider legal action if needed to block them.

New Brunswick's public service pension plan has a $1-billion deficit and Finance Minister Blaine Higgs says it is not sustainable.

The government is expected to table legislation before Christmas to make the pension changes.

Organizations: Canadian Union of Public Employees

Geographic location: New Brunswick, FREDERICTON

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