Jump to content
Political Discussion Forums
Boges

What to do with Canada Post?

Recommended Posts

Ah - no. The entire concept of a company sponsored defined benefit pension is a scam designed to allow union bosses to claim they got rich settlements when all they did is permanently shackle their members retirement plan to future performance of the company.

Hasn't it always been that way? The difference nowadays seems to be that a sizeable number of companies are not paying the proper money into the employee pension fund. I'm really not sure why they're allowed to get away with this, and I would support government regulations which require companies keep up payments to their pension plan or else dissolve the company.

If union bosses actually cared about the best interests of their members they would have insisted on a 100% employee funded and managed pension fund. They did not because to make such a plan viable they would have had to made significant concessions in wages/benefits.

Uh, they did not because companies would not have gone along with it. Besides, it's not the management of the pension funds which is at issue, but the failure on the part of management to contribute the money they agreed to contribute.

IOW - if pensions are underfunded then unions deserve a large part of the blame.

<shrug> That's like saying anyone who is beaten and robbed or murdered is partly at fault. Not sure who makes such statements other than those wanting to excuse the wrongdoing of the offender.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except government employees are largely paid by people who make less and have don't have a government sugar daddy backstopping their pension.

Unlikely. Do you have some evidence to support that statement?

For the most part, people who don't make much money don't pay income taxes. One third of Canadian adults pay no income taxes whatsoever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point any pension is considered lavish. The point remains, the pension is one of the big reasons they're bleeding money.

When do Posties get to retire?

Exactly. We need to put an end to defined benefit pension plans, and move all government employees to defined contribution pension plans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't stereotypes have some grounds in truth? Regardless, what you say might have some weight if what I said I'd heard hadn't come from people who have worked or currently work in unionised environments.

[ed.: c/e, +]

I've worked in government for over ten years. I haven't really seen anyone I would describe as lazy. What I have seen is people who don't have a lot of work assigned for them to do. This happens in large organizations and is generally a management problem linked to assessment of time needed to do specific jobs. Over time, even if the proper assessment is made (it usually isn't) certain areas wind up with more/less work, or more/less employees. Managers always try to hang on to job positions in their area because the more people under them the more status they have.

Then, too, you simply have oblivious managers. I once had one yelling at me for not doing more work -- not specified as to what type but not what I was currently assigned. He was complaining about the vacation I wanted to take, and how that would require my co-workers to shoulder even more of a burden. He seemed to be clueless about what little burden they had, even though several had complained to him about not having enough work to keep them busy.

Fact is, it's not the union environment which makes government and other large organiztions so inefficient about managing their people, it's clueless and incompetent management.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uh, they did not because companies would not have gone along with it.

Nonsense. All unions would have had to do is offer a combined compensation package that made such an arrangement attractive to management. But unions did not want to make the concessions required and this refusal makes unions culpable for problems facing their pension funds today.

Unions had a choice to separate their pensions from the corporation but they were too greedy. They thought they could saddle the corporation with the risk and are now belatedly discovering that they were deluding themselves.

Edited by TimG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've worked in government for over ten years. I haven't really seen anyone I would describe as lazy. What I have seen is people who don't have a lot of work assigned for them to do. This happens in large organizations and is generally a management problem linked to assessment of time needed to do specific jobs. Over time, even if the proper assessment is made (it usually isn't) certain areas wind up with more/less work, or more/less employees. Managers always try to hang on to job positions in their area because the more people under them the more status they have.

Then, too, you simply have oblivious managers. I once had one yelling at me for not doing more work -- not specified as to what type but not what I was currently assigned. He was complaining about the vacation I wanted to take, and how that would require my co-workers to shoulder even more of a burden. He seemed to be clueless about what little burden they had, even though several had complained to him about not having enough work to keep them busy.

I had one union colleague during a grievance, complain about a particular manager as being both incompetent and psychologically disturbed and demanding she be fired. The response was, more or less "well, she's doing better here than she was in her other jobs (which she was removed from).

Fact is, it's not the union environment which makes government and other large organiztions so inefficient about managing their people, it's clueless and incompetent management.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nonsense. All unions would have had to do is offer a combined compensation package that made such an arrangement attractive to managment. But unions did not want to make the concessions required and this refusal makes culpable for problems facing their pension funds today. They had a choice to separate their pensions from the corporation but they were too greedy.

So all unions need to do is ask for less, right? Never mind management not doing their job or making their contributions, just find a way to blame the union.

Just keep drinking that tea down, Tim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly. We need to put an end to defined benefit pension plans, and move all government employees to defined contribution pension plans.

And then when their pensions run out when they're ninety or so we can add them all to the welfare rolls, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure just like studies that say that absenteeism amongst civil servants is far higher than with private sector counterparts.

You mean to tell me that when people have sick leave they use it! Wow! I know I'm shocked....

Next you'll be telling me that people who have dental benefits go to the dentist more often than those who don't!

Edited by Argus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

del

Edited by Argus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So all unions need to do is ask for less, right? Never mind management not doing their job or making their contributions, just find a way to blame the union.

It really makes no difference if the shortfall occurs because the company was forced out business and the pension fund was left to fund itself because the pension fund would have still faced the same demographic/market problems that are causing the shortfalls today (IOW - making payments that force a company out of business would have left the pensions even worse off).

The problems are the greedy unions who thought they could dump the the risk associated with paying pensions on someone other than the people expecting to receive them.

Edited by TimG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And then when their pensions run out when they're ninety or so we can add them all to the welfare rolls, right?

Definted benefit pension plans are pyramid schemes. Pay for your pyramid schemes yourself. Do what everyone else in real life does, contribute at enough of a rate so that you're ok when you retire. Get the hell outta my wallet!!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really makes no difference if the shortfall occurs because the company was forced out business and the pension fund was left to fund itself because the pension fund would have still faced the same demographic/market problems that are causing the shortfalls today.

Sorry, what? The problem is companies not living up to their legal liabilities, to contracts they signed. I don't see why the obvious way to resolve this is to close down any company that doesn't fund its pension plan, seize the assets, and use it to pay off the pension plan. That sounds perfectly fair to me.

The problems are the greedy unions who thought they could dump the the risk associated with paying pensions on someone other than the people expecting to receive them.

You know, I've seen eighty year old mysogenists who have more respect for the intelligence and capabilities of big breasted blondes than all you anti-union types seem to evidence for the senior management of large corporate entities. To hear you guys tell it they're nothing but naive, innocent waifs, like children, really, with no idea what they're doing, being bullied by those fiendishly clever union types.

Maybe you could start up a collection to send CEOs to college or something...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definted benefit pension plans are pyramid schemes. Pay for your pyramid schemes yourself. Do what everyone else in real life does, contribute at enough of a rate so that you're ok when you retire. Get the hell outta my wallet!!!!!!!!

Shady, honestly. I pay more in taxes every year than you'll ever make.

All a defined pension is is deferred income. Unions negotiate a lower wage rate in return for these pensions, and it's up to the corporate entity or government to then make sufficient contributions, in league with the employees, to keep the plan funded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, what? The problem is companies not living up to their legal liabilities, to contracts they signed.

So shut down the companies - pensions are unsecured creditors. Do you really think pensioners would actually be better off? It also does not change the bone headed incompetence of union bosses that agreed to deals that left their members pensions dependent on the future welfare of a corporation. Edited by TimG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fact is, it's not the union environment which makes government and other large organiztions so inefficient about managing their people, it's clueless and incompetent management.

That may be a factor in some cases. However, isn't it also very likely that the difficulty in dismissing staff leads to more people being on the payroll than is required for the amount of work needing done? Is Canada Post not having to deal with that very issue right now? Is the proposal not to keep at least the same number of employees but have them work less days? (And what's the likelihood they'll receive an equivalent pay reduction?)

It's also a separate matter from the irrelevance of competence to both the retention of a job and how promotions and raises are earned.

[ed.: rework, +]

Edited by g_bambino

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except government employees are largely paid by people who make less and have don't have a government sugar daddy backstopping their pension. So your argument that failure to provide these inflated benefits will lead to social unrest is nonsensical.

The basic economics of the free market system requires that the majority of people be paid less than the average and no amount of social engineering can change that reality. The only objective that makes sense are social programs to ensure no one ends up destitute and that everyone has access to the education needed to improve their position.

Government employees.... like all employees.... are paid by their employer. (We can argue that Bell Canada employees are also paid by their little old lady shareholders, but that is hardly the point.) Employees are paid by the employer, and the employer pays them, because their employer has some job function for them to do. Every so often, like all companies, the employer does a "re-organization" that may end up severely reducing the number of jobs available... or perhaps creating new ones. But no matter... if the employer agrees to a contract that defers some benefits to be paid later as a pension... instead of now as a salary... then it is his duty to fulfil it.

As for the "basic economics of the free market system". The basic economics of the free market system would indicate that, over time, we become more efficient at providing goods and services. Thus there should be a net deflation with time in both prices and wages. How is that working out?

....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for the "basic economics of the free market system".

The basics of the free market system does not apply to government unions because the politicians making promises that impose liabilities on future tax payers which means the normal financial constraints that limit demands in private sector negotiations no longer apply. On top of that the people negotiating on the side of the government often owe their positions to the unions which they are supposed to be negotiating with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So shut down the companies - pensions are unsecured creditors. Do you really think pensioners would actually be better off? It also does not change the bone headed incompetence of union bosses that agreed to deals that left their members pensions dependent on the future welfare of a corporation.

No, I think the companies should be shut down and their assets sold to pay up the pension fund. I think the pensioners should be the number one creditor in any bankruptcy. I also think the senior managers of companies which sign legal agreements and don't attempt to live up to them should forfeit their own assets right down to their shiny limosines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the pensioners should be the number one creditor in any bankruptcy.

Well they are not and they should not be (what makes pensions more special than suppliers who delivered goods but were not paid?). Unions agreed a deal where they pension liabilities are unsecured debt and if they don't like that they should have not have signed the deal. As I said - the union bosses were idiots for agreeing to such a structure in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That may be a factor in some cases. However, isn't it also very likely that the difficulty in dismissing staff leads to more people being on the payroll than is required for the amount of work needing done?

Do you know how often the government fires incompetent managers? Virtually never. It's almost impossible to get rid of these people, and there's no union representing them. The fact of the matter is it's not the union that makes it hard to fire people in government (can't say for private sector). I know exactly what powers the unions have to fight dismissal and they're not that powerful. What makes it so hard to fire people is the network of interrelated policy guidelines, operational regulations and procedures instituted by the government itself, by their Human Resources groups. The amount of documentation required, the time needed to be spent in monitoring, in counselling, in giving refresher courses and training, the proof needed, it's all so damned time consuming that incompetents, be they managers or unions represented staff, are just easier to leave in place or transfer.

Is Canada Post not having to deal with that very issue right now?

I work in the Canada Post complex in Ottawa, as a matter of fact. There are separate buildings, and our agency and another one rent space in one of them. But we do meet up with some of the Canada Post people at times. Believe me, management over there is just utterly ruthless. People over there work in fear of doing one wrong thing and getting canned for it. They had a spate of layoffs last year. You know what they did? They'd call people into a boardroom, give them their letter, and have security escort them out the door. As basic as that.

Is the proposal not to keep at least the same number of employees but have them work less days? (And what's the likelihood they'll receive an equivalent pay reduction?)

The corporation wants its employees to earn less pay? Big surprise there. And you think employees want to work part-time hours? Not bloody likely. Canada Post contracts out billions and billions of dollars in work, you know, and I have no doubt they're doing their best to increase that number.

It's also a separate matter from the irrelevance of competence to both the retention of a job and how promotions and raises are earned.

[ed.: rework, +]

I don't work for Canada Post, but in the government in general, promotions are earned through applying for competitions, and passing them. The union has nothing to do with that system, and can't even really appeal or grieve such procedures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well they are not and they should not be (what makes pensions more special than suppliers who delivered goods but were not paid?). Unions agreed a deal where they pension liabilities are unsecured debt and if they don't like that they should have not have signed the deal. As I said - the union bosses were idiots for agreeing to such a structure in the first place.

The pensioners should get priority because they were there first. But as I said, companies should be required to make their ongoing contributions or shut down. Thus who gets priority wouldn't really matter. And the 'union bosses' took what they could get. Like many on the right you have a bizarre belief in the power unions have to get what they want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the 'union bosses' took what they could get.

No - they made a choice and agree inflated compensation packages because they did not factor in the risk associated with providing pensions. If they had factored in the risk they would have had to accept less.

BTW - I think companies should pay every cent owed for pensions each time they issue a paycheck - but that should be the end of their liability. If demographics or market conditions make meeting promises difficult the pension recipients need to make up and difference.

Edited by TimG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shady, honestly. I pay more in taxes every year than you'll ever make.

All a defined pension is is deferred income. Unions negotiate a lower wage rate in return for these pensions, and it's up to the corporate entity or government to then make sufficient contributions, in league with the employees, to keep the plan funded.

Good, if you pay more in taxes then I'll ever make, stop asking me and others to pay for your retirements. Like I said, stay outta my wallet, and pay for your own GD retirement. And no, defined benefit pension plans are like ponzi schemes, because without Joe and Jane Q taxpayer funding the shortfalls, the system would collapse on itself, because the necessary money that should be contributed from you and others into your plans, doesn't happen. So the bill gets sent to taxpayers. Like I said, if you're making so much money as a government worker, fund your own god damned retirement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×