Thursday, March 31, 2011

Laurentian Medical College makes cut backs on staff to pay for pension

There was an article in the Sudbury Star that shows the increasing danger of gold-plated pensions.

24 jobs cut at Northern Ontario School of Medicine. 

NOSM is operated by Laurentian University in Sudbury. It is unacceptable for the people of Ontario at a time when there is a strain on our health system and a shortage of qualified health care employees to be cutting back staff to pay for gold-plated pensions.

This came out on the same day that the province released its Sunshine List and shows over 240 staff at Laurentian earning over $100,00 per year. This is up from just 180 in 2008. Each one of these positions comes with a pension worth 70% of this income.

One manager at the University earns $304,000 which does not take into account the gold-plated pension. A manager will be entitled to a pension valued at $212,000 per year or 70% of his final salary when fully qualified. This type of pension has a cash value of about $3.4 Million.

Last year the college contributed $ $11.7 Million into their staff pension funds. This amount is up from $5.9 million in 2008, an increase of $5.8 million or 98%. If used to hire additional administration staff at $50,000 per year, this amount would allow for an additional 116 staff members.

Management decides to allocate this money in pensions and benefits rather than hire more staff. This was not money going into enhanced student services but to bolster the personal pension accounts of managers.

We are now seeing the conflict plaguing all government organizations.   It is the choice between more services for students or more gold-plated benefits for management and staff. Being forced to cut back and create savings where do you think the money will come from, compensation packages or services.

It appears that the students and taxpayers of Ontario will lose on this one.

Bill Tufts
Fair Pensions For All

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