Earlier this week, the Ontario government announced that it would be making changes to
its post-retirement benefit program in order to "bring the
Ontario Public Service retiree benefits in line with other public
First, the government intends to increase the eligibility period
for retiree benefits. Members who do not have 10 years of pension
credit as of January 1, 2017 – in either the Public Service
Pension Plan or the OPSEU Pension Plan – will have to meet
the following criteria in order to qualify for retiree
have at least 20 years of pension credit; and
retire to an immediate unreduced pension.
Second, the government will be moving to a "premium cost
sharing" arrangement, whereby any eligible member who has not
begun to receive a pension by January 1, 2017 will be required to
pay 50% of the premium costs to participate in the retiree benefit
None of these changes will affect current OPS retirees.
Only last week, I wrote a
blog post about a similar announcement in the 2014 federal
budget. The federal government stated that it will be transitioning
from currently paying 75% of retiree benefit costs under the Public
Service Health Care Plan to equal cost sharing for retired federal
Clearly, Canadian governments have set their sights on public
sector employee compensation as a part of their ongoing attempts to
reduce budget deficits. Public sector unions, however, have responded
they may not accept such changes and will seek legal advice on
whether the government can make them unilaterally.
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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