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Regina firefighters angry over pension deficit

July 30, 2014, Regina - There were shouts of anger from the public gallery when Regina city councillors received but didn't deal with a report on the city's troubled civic pension plan Monday night.

July 30, 2014
By The Canadian Press

More than a hundred former and current city employees attended Monday's council meeting, hoping to put pressure on the city to do something about their plan's massive deficit.

The chairman of Regina's Civic Pension Plan Committee made a presentation to council, but Kirby Benning wasn't able to address the negotiation process because it wasn't part of the agenda.

Mayor Michael Fougere says there's a time and a place for more in-depth discussions, but retired firefighter Larry Richter says it's shameful council didn't even acknowledge who was in the gallery.

The provincial government has given the city and various employer groups until the end of the year to reach an agreement on the pension issue, or the plan will be dissolved.

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The pension covers the City of Regina, the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, Regina Board of Education, Regina Public Library and the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region and affects about 7,000 current and retired workers.

Randy Drackett, another retired firefighter, said he is worried about what might happen to benefits if the plan is axed.

"Sounds like a 20-plus per cent reduction to start and that is significant,'' said Drackett.

"I got my first cheque last month after 33 years of service and now they're going to cut it, so I'm not happy about that,'' added his colleague Preston Perrault.