Eighty Montreal firefighters retired before midnight

Following the tabling of the Liberal government's pension plan bill

Not even a day old and the Liberal government's pension plan bill is having serious repercussions. At least a hundred of Montreal's firefighters retired before midnight to avoid having their pensions hit.

Montreal's firefighters union says it contacted 450 employees eligible to take retirement when it found out about the tabling of the bill.

Union spokesperson Ronald Martin says at least a hundred members made the decision to retire.

He says they warned the mayor and the Couillard government that the city would be losing loads of experienced firefighters by passing the bill.

“We told them it was extremely dangerous because it would result in resignation and that’s what we’re seeing today,” Martin said.

The Liberals want the cities to address pension plan deficits by getting half the money from the workers.

Martin called the bill disgusting.

“They’re angry and disgusted, many were crying on the phone as the resigned.”

Martin says until they have the final number of retired firefighters he can't say how it will affect public security.

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  1. maria posted on 06/13/2014 06:37 PM
    No one would retire if this smartass Martin didn't call them up to advise them that that is what they should do. Any life gone will be on your HEAD Mr. Martin. No matter what you say or do Mr. Martin I can not ever accept My tax dollars going to these pensions , when I don't have one. If they weren't paying so much in union dues this, there union dues could of been going towards their pension - and this way maybe I could build my own pension with the tax dollars I have to pay towards public civil workers pensions???!!!
    1. Jason posted on 06/13/2014 09:20 PM
      @maria Maria, maybe you need to look for a better job. One with a pension that will take care of you after years of community services. Years of being there on what is most likely someones worest day. One that will provide for your family after you pay the ulitmate price helping a stranger, maybe even stranger like you! These men and women, like so many other emergency service workers in the public sector derserve a proper pension and fair treatment from their government. Dont blame the public sector pensions to make up for government spending on failed project, crumbling infrasture and growing debit. dont see those sitting in office taking a pay cut or altering their pensions and your tax dollars pay 100% of that. And how dare you blame the Union for notifying their members of new policies that will affect its members. That is Mr. Martins job and I am confident those phones calls were not easy. Most of these men and women are in that profession for the money and likely do not want to leave their second family of brothers and sisters but unfortunately you have to look out for what is best you in the end when it comes to money.
      Maybe one day you will require the services of the fire department, and I hope for everyone involved everything turns out okay but if things don't and you feel the pain of loss. Dont go looking for Mr. Martin, it is your elected official that put those jr. men in that position.
      Curious, what do you do for our community that makes you feel that you are better than Firefighters? These individuals thanklessly care for your community are they not entitled to a fair retirement?
    2. JohnH- posted on 06/13/2014 11:23 PM
      @maria Hello Maria,

      I couldn't agree with you more. I don't know how old you are but, this has happened before. Back in the late 60's the fire department went on strike. Montreal almost burned to the ground. Around the same time give or take a couple of years the police went on strike. The army had to be called in to restore law and order. The Montreal police have always been very militant when it comes to money. One time they demonstrated in Quebec City and surrounded the National Assembly not in uniform but, wearing their sidearms. Talk about intimidation. The government of the day caved in and the police got what they wanted. For anyone looking in from the outside it appeared that the police had gone rogue. Here is a question that needs an answer. Why is it that when one of the police forces are involved in a shooting another police force does the investigation? Can we say conflict of interest? Yet it still goes on. It is easy to criticize, so here is my solution. Police, fire fighters, health care workers, public security, civil servants and educators are to be classified as essential services. Meaning, they do not have the right to strike. They do not have the right to unionize. Therefore, they do not have right to a collective bargaining agreement. Sound draconian? All the sectors I have listed are the bare minimum required for a healthy society to function without fear of rebellion or insurrection. Thus, insuring our Constitutional Rights. In return we the tax payers will designate these people as, "PROFESSIONALS." Since there would be no collective agreement, (union) each individual would be hired as an independent contractor. Any and all responsibilities would be stated within the contract. At any time should either party default on the contract they may pursue their grievance through the court system, at their own expense. What do you think Maria. Does it sound like a plan? It's not perfect but, what is?
  2. Richard posted on 06/13/2014 10:04 PM
    Its neither their problem nor their fault that you don't have a pension but if you want to blame someone....blame the city.

    You think its right that after paying into their pension for 30 years that the government should have the right to say..too bad so sad but what you planned for an paid for all your working life has been changed.

    Yes changes have to be made, but you don't take away what has been given
    You can make a change when you now pay more for future years or reduced amounts for future years but what has been earned does not change

    And right now....if they have the right to retire,,,,they have the right to retire
  3. Foote posted on 06/14/2014 02:10 AM
    Maria, comments such as yours shows how ill informed the public is with the roll that public safety workers have in their community. Firefighters are exposed to toxins on a daily basis from dealing with your problems. These toxins permeate their turnout gear, their station wear, underwear, and skin. It is everywhere in the fire apparatus, tools they use, and follows them back to the Firehouse. It is throughout the firehouse and works its way back home to their family, you cannot wash it off entirely. Firefighters have accepted this as a workplace hazard and die an average of 15-20 years before they would have otherwise. This is why over the last century their union has fought for better pension plans for their members, so they too can enjoy some retirement time before the end comes. Firefighters also pay more out of their earnings into their pension as a result of a shorter career. I ask you Maria, when have you had to cut a friend out of a mangled car wreck, or carried someone's child out of their burned out home. Media glorifies our job as something sexy, but infact it is mostly a dirty, laborious, job done mostly in toxic environments with lots of pressure to make timely decisions that will have to stand the scrutiny of the public, managers, politicians, and the courts. So sorry if " Do you want fries with that " does not afford you a pension plan , just remember you are also not contributing to your pension plan....
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