Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

December 12, 2017 13:43 ET

Retooled CPP expansion still punishes parents, disabled Canadians, says CUPE

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 12, 2017) - The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is calling on the Trudeau government to match its rhetoric with action when it comes to addressing the serious gap in the 2016 CPP expansion. The proposed fix to the government's plan announced Monday at the meeting of Canada's finance ministers appears to be yet another half-measure that maintains a serious penalty for workers who take time off due to disability or to raise children.

In 2016, the Liberal government's CPP expansion legislation crucially neglected to include a "drop-out" provision for workers who take time away from work due to child-raising responsibilities or disability. CUPE and other organizations raised the issue at the time, but the government ignored those interventions and passed the legislation with these critical flaws built in. The issue was revisited this week during meetings of the federal, provincial, and territorial finance ministers.

But unfortunately, the government did not implement a drop-out provision that would allow workers to subtract the years they were away from work from their CPP calculation. Instead, the government's latest proposal will likely, in the vast majority of cases, result in unfair and preventable penalties during retirement for Canadians with child-raising responsibilities, especially women, and people who suffered a significant injury or illness during their career.

"Until the government announces the full restoration of the child-rearing and disability drop- outs, this proposed fix remains a discriminatory half-measure," said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. "For all their rhetoric about helping working people and middle-class families, the Liberals are falling short of their promises once again, and Canadians are getting short- changed as a result."

"Canadians view this as an important equality issue, and they shouldn't have to wait several more years for the government to do the right thing," said CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury. "We need a full drop-out provision so that workers aren't penalized when they reach retirement simply for taking care of their kids or for being injured."

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