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The National Union of Public and General Employees has a large and growing pool of active retirees who make a powerful, political force across the country.

Bigger, Stronger

The number of retirees is going to accelerate dramatically over the next several decades as baby boomers begin turning 65. About one million union members could retire in the next 10 years and today's retirees are living a lot longer than past generations. They are healthier, more mobile and more active in their communities.

Political Clout

Wealth gap about to squeeze Boomers as they retire

William Kistler views retirement like someone tied to the tracks and watching a train coming. It's looming and threatening, but there's little he can do.

Kistler, a 63-year-old resident of Golden, Colo., has been unable to build up a nest egg for himself and his wife with his modest salary at a nonprofit. He has saved little in a 401(k) over the past decade ­after spending most of his working life self-employed. That puts him far behind many wealthier Americans approaching retirement. 

Fighting Back: Responding to the Liberal attack on retiree benefits in the Ontario Public Service

February 19, 2014

On February 18, 2014, the Liberal government led by Premier Kathleen Wynne announced changes that will increase the cost of extended health benefits for retired public service employees, LCBO employees, and others in the OPSEU Pension Trust or the Public Service Pension Plan if they retire on or after January 1, 2017. Benefit premiums from that day forward will be funded on a 50-50 basis, with the government paying half the premium and the retiree paying the other half.

NUARC member participates in sit in at Ministers' office over changes to provincial drug plan

Louise Yarrow, a retired member of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE), and an active member of the National Union's Action on Retiree Committee (NUARC) participated in local actions to draw attention to the changes that will negatively impact seniors in Alberta.

Read more below:

 

Seniors groups don’t expect province to quickly move ahead with income-based drug plan

BY KAREN KLEISS, EDMONTON JOURNAL FEBRUARY 13, 2014

Conservative budget fails seniors

Here is a great opinion piece by Irene Mathyssen, Member of Parliament for London-Fanshawe. Irene is the NDP Critic for Seniors. 

 

Alberta home care investigated by CBC News

The Current from CBC Radio (Highlights) CBC investigation uncovers serious concerns with Alberta home care system - Dec. 3, 2013

A CBC investigation of home care in Alberta has revealed there have been serious complaints and concerns since the province overhauled the system earlier this year - including horror-stories in Alberta.

You can listen to the interview here: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/current_20131203_51411.mp3

 

Letter to the editor applauds CPP and DB plans

Re: Improved CPP benefits will be costly, Column, Oct. 30

Barbara Yaffe’s column concerning CPP hits the target. We should be asking “how do we ensure that all elderly Canadians have a decent standard of living?”

Personal saving does not work. To save for retirement I need to know how long I am going to live. If I diligently save and pass away at age 56, I would have been better off living one day at a time. For populations, actuaries can answer that question, for individuals, it is impossible.

A place to call home - Canada's retiring boomers hope to stay put, despite potential health issues: RBC poll

Staying in their own homes and paying for home care as needed is by far the most appealing option (83 per cent) for Canadian Boomers as they head into retirement and consider future living arrangements that go along with aging. This is followed by living in a retirement residence with care provided (50 per cent), with both these options ranking well ahead of the possibility of living with family members who could assist with home care (24 per cent), according to the RBC 2013 Retirement Myths & Realities Poll.

Unions treading carefully around pension reform plan

Unions are choosing their words carefully in light of the provincial government's plan for public-sector pension reform.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale announced Thursday that pensions of retirees won't be affected, opening up the discussion about who exactly will be affected.

NAPE president Carol Furlong said cutting pension benefits isn't in the public's interest.

"At the end of the day, when people have a pension, they're putting money back into the economy," she said.

Featured letter: Arthritis clinic closure short-sighted

Re: “Specialized arthritis clinic falls victim to budget cuts,” the Journal, July 31.

I have been receiving education about and treatment for arthritis from this specialized clinic at the University of Alberta Hospital for the past year. I was distressed and disappointed to learn it is being closed because of budget constraints.

Over the past few years, inflammatory arthritis has increasingly affected my daily life. Its impact is both profound and isolating — I had to stop my teaching career because of it.

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