Saturday, February 11, 2006

OMERS - Oh My!

I'm not sure why the McGuinty crew at Queen's Park are pushing so hard on the reform to the municipal workers pension scheme - known as OMERS - Province digs heels in as strike threatened

It seems that the main point of contention is that the reforms in the planned legislation will give preferential treatment to emergency workers (fire, paramedics etc.) - that will allow those workers to retire early with a full pension.

There is some indication that this is a payback to those employees for supporting McGuinty in the last election. I have no idea if that's true or not.

My question is why the Fiberals are risking a large public sector wildcat strike over this. The Harris government endured the power-grab inspired illegal strike by teachers over reforms to the provinces primary and secondary education systems.

However, in the Harris case, there was a clear need: the Royal Commission of Education commissioned by the Rae NDP goverment had identfied serious problems with education in Ontario. Further more, our students were bringing up the rear in comparison to other provinces - despite Ontario being tops in spending.

As far as I know there is no pressing need to reform OMERS - or did I miss something? Regardless, the unions appear hell-bent on putting the public through the same type of outrageous service withdrawals.

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