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Nova Scotia teachers’ pension deficit needs to be part of contract talks: premier

The premier says unlike the union, he doesn't believe teachers would have to give concessions in a new contract to free up money to beef up the pension plan. File photo

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is continuing to insist that upcoming contract talks with teachers should include discussions around fixing a $1.4 billion deficit in their defined benefit pension plan.

The stance could be placing his government on another collision course with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, after union president Paul Wozney told a legislature committee on Wednesday that pension and contract talks should be done separately.

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The premier says unlike the union, he doesn’t believe teachers would have to give concessions in a new contract to free up money to beef up the pension plan.

However, McNeil says he thinks the unfunded liability issue should be part of looking at teachers’ overall compensation package.

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He accuses the union of wanting to ignore the problem – something he says is unacceptable to the province, which is also a trustee of the plan.

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The current contract for the province’s 9,300 teachers, which was imposed by the province in 2017, expires this year.

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