The following letter to the editor will be published in the Telegram and the Shoreline.
As the President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Sector Pensioners’ Association and on behalf of the Pensioners Coalition, I am writing this letter to highlight the issues of public sector pensioners with the hope these will be addressed by the candidates in the District of Topsail By-election, scheduled for March 16, 2010.
Our members, many of whom live in Topsail District, are former employees of the Provincial Government. In their work life, they did things such as staffing our schools and health care facilities, maintaining our roads, and managing our natural resources. They helped build this Province during the tough and lean years.
Government, in the early days, sorely mismanaged our pension funds. Moreover, this failure has been worsened by inflation. As a result, since 1989 when ad hoc increases were discontinued, pensioners have seen the value of their pension dollars diminish at a rate whereby the worth today is about 54 % of the value at the time of their retirement.
It is my hope that the many public sector pensioners who reside in Topsail District will ask the candidates where they stand on the issue of improving pension benefits and how committed they are, as individuals, to seeing Government remediate this unacceptable situation. This Association and our Coalition affiliates of NAPE Retirees, Retired Teachers, Uniformed Services Retirees, and Memorial University Retirees have been pressing Government on this matter without success. If the public sector pensioners of Topsail District are dissatisfied with Government’s inaction, then I encourage them to express this when they go to the ballot box on March 16.
Thank you for your time and affording my letter space in your paper.
Robert K. Langdon
Newfoundland & Labrador Public Sector Pensioners’ Association