NUPGE retirees launch Retirees 4 Change to build All Together Now! campaign
December 13, 2011
In November, members of the National Union Action on Retiree Concerns (NUARC), a committee of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), met to discuss major issues facing retired workers across the country. Two big issues dominated the discussion: long-term care (LTC) and retirement security.
More and more families are becoming increasingly worried about the quality of care they will receive when they or their loved ones transition into long-term care. High costs, poor quality and lack of accommodation are all extremely troubling given that people 80 years old and over are the fastest growing age group in the country.
As a way to educate and mobilize the public on this issue, NUARC has published Dignity Denied 2011 which examines the rising concerns in the LTC system and provides many common sense solutions. Retirees 4 Change will use this new tool to champion the issue throughout communities across the country. The issue intersects perfectly with the ATN message of promoting quality public services, decent public jobs and the need for tax fairness.
"A constant refrain from all levels of government is that spending is out of control," says James Clancy, NUPGE National President. "It's utter nonsense. If governments were spending the money to ensure our seniors do not live their final years in poverty, instead of handing it over to corporations as tax breaks, we wouldn't need to have this conversation."
Retirees 4 Change will also tackle the retirement security crisis facing all Canadians, not just retirees. More and more people are having to work longer in order to save enough for retirement, and even then, many still find their savings are inadequate. The new push for pooled retirement savings by the federal government and defined benefit contribution plans by employers do nothing to guarantee financial security.
The best pension plan in the country is the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Retirees 4 Change will campaign to ensure fellow retirees press the government to support an expansion to the CPP to produce real pension reform.
"We are fortunate to have many of the most spirited and organized members working full steam ahead on these important issues. I have no doubt their voices supporting quality public services - from long-term care to pensions - will be heard loud and clear," Clancy concluded.