Pension Changes Deserve Full Debate

Release Date 2020 06 22 

“Allow it to be debated,” says Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling about the government’s unilateral decision to have AIMCo manage teacher pension investments.

Tuesday morning, the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills will meet to make a recommendation on Bill 203, the Pension Protection Act, which would either kill the bill or see it debated on the floor of the legislature.

“The unilateral change of investment managers was heavy-handed and undemocratic. Teachers were never consulted and the enacting legislation was rushed through the legislature, despite overwhelming opposition from plan members and concerns expressed by external pension experts. The private bills committee has a choice to correct this wrong or to continue the denial of democracy on this important issue.”

—Jason Schilling, ATA President

Schilling has sent a letter to the MLA chairs of the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills urging the committee to recommend Bill 203, the Pension Protection Act, for full debate in the legislature.

Bill 22, the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act, 2019 requires the management of teacher pension investments be transferred from the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund (ATRF) to the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo). Fifty thousand e-mails were sent by teachers, retired teachers and others in opposition, but the Bill was pushed through legislature, passing three stages of debate in just over a day and a half.

“In light of the legitimate and unaddressed concerns of teachers, the decision to transfer investment management to AIMCo deserves to be fully debated. Bill 203 provides that opportunity, and I strongly encourage committee members to send it to the legislature for full debate.”

—Jason Schilling, ATA President

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, as the professional organization of teachers, promotes and advances public education, safeguards standards of professional practice and serves as the advocate for its 46,000 members.

A copy of Schilling’s letter to Committee Chair MLA Mike Ellis and Deputy Chair MLA Joseph Schow is attached to this release.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills begins at 8:30 AM and can be watched online here.

For more information or to arrange an interview with President Schilling, contact Mark Milne at 780-905-0014 or mark.milne@ata.ab.ca.