© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Sir: I am writing to you today, not only as a member of the (PSESU) Public Service Employee Staff Union and a member of the Civil Service Pension Plan but also as a taxpayer who resides in the province of Prince Edward Island.
My concern stems from the ongoing discussions in regards to the Public Sector Pension Plan and what I believe to be you and your government’s strategic attack on the very people who elected you in the first place. I have seen firsthand your desire to balance your budget and this bullheaded approach leaves very little room for reasonable discussion.
Should it be found that you or your colleagues are balancing your budget on the backs of those who are proud to serve Islanders in every facet of everyday life, it will be directly put in question the moral and ethical compass that you and your fellow ministers used to steer yourself while making these changes.
My chief concern is for that of my young family and the families of my fellow public servants, who, over the last year have heard only partial and veiled answers from their government representatives when they are asked about possible future changes to our pension plan. I am aware that you and your counter parts have made significant proposals to the affected groups as to how you might better align the goals of the pension plan with what has historically been the offered retirement benefit to all qualified employees.
Mr. Sheridan, I understand that this is a personal issue for yourself as well as any changes that you would seek to make to my or any other public servant’s pension would also most surely be made to your own. I would ask you to remember back to August 18, 2011 when our Premier made a commitment in writing to all the stake holders of the pension plan and to yourself as a member of a government pension plan.
His commitment was simple - there would be no changes made without full concurrence of all the parties involved. In my mind, and the minds of many others a move to do anything but live up to that commitment would be tantamount to yet another time this government has turned its back on the desire of those who choose to elect them in first place.
Mr. Sheridan, this discussion could be had about many aspects of government and could be seen through many lenses but when you remove the multiple facets that the pension plan and its funding is connected to, it remains to be about one thing. This discussion is at its essence is about trust and faith; as a public servant, I put my faith in you and your government to represent me in the best fashion you could and I had the faith that you would not steam forward with governance that majority of affected Islanders feel is both unreasonable and unacceptable.
I am sending this letter as a request to ask that any and all changes that are planned be stopped and reviewed immediately. Public Servant representatives have offered multiple solutions to your government and they have fallen on deaf ears.
Mr. Sheridan, you must listen to those who elected you as we pay your salary and pay for your pension.