OPSEU members have the power to stop a government takeover of their pension plans, thousands heard on two “telephone town hall” meetings Monday night.
“This government can be swayed if there are enough people going in to see them,” said OPSEU Region 2 Vice-President Mike Grimaldi told callers. “There are already splits in Cabinet on this.”
Some 18,000 OPSEU members joined four telephone calls held Sept. 20 and 24 to learn more about the McGuinty government’s plan to pool dozens of pension plans to create a single super-fund controlled by private-sector managers.
“The only people who are going to benefit from this are actuaries who are going to figure out how this works and a bunch of investment bankers who are going control the fund,” said Grimaldi.
Many members were shocked at the possibility of losing control of their retirement savings, while others questioned the legality of the McGuinty plan.
“How can the government have the authority to just take control of our pension plans?” asked one caller. “What stops them from going into our bank accounts and taking our money?” asked another.
Grimaldi and fellow panelists President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and Region 5 Vice-President Nancy Pridham questioned whether the McGuinty plan could survive a court challenge.
“We like our chances on a legal challenge,” said Thomas, who emphasized the importance for members of political action.
“How they would craft legislation is still quite a mystery,” he said. “We’re not quite clear how they would proceed but our goal is to stop them from proceeding.”
Thomas and his fellow Executive Board Members called on OPSEU members to visit the web site at www.amatteroftrust.org and contact their MPPs.
“If you take four or five of your co-workers in to your MPPs office, that is going to have a major impact on the way this government moves,” said Grimaldi. “We can stop the government. The collective power of people can stop them.”