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Teachers reignite push for control over pension funds

February 25, 2020 Kim Clement, ATA News Staff


#HandsOffMyPension campaign now calling for repeal of Bill 22

The Alberta Teachers’ Association is once again encouraging teachers to advocate for their pensions.

The #HandsOffMyPension campaign, which launched in November 2019 in response to Bill 22’s introduction in the legislature, is being relaunched with a new call to action: “repeal Bill 22.”

“Teachers have told us loud and clear that they are not prepared to accept the government’s takeover of their pensions, so we’re pushing the government to do what is right: undo this terrible legislation,” said ATA president Jason Schilling.

Bill 22, the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act, mandated the transfer of $16.6 billion of assets from the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund (ATRF) to the government-owned Alberta Investment Management Company (AIMCo). It was first introduced to the legislature on Monday, Nov. 18, and received royal assent four days later on Nov. 22.


The move outraged teachers, who felt they had not been consulted before the sweeping change was implemented. 

The initial #HandsOffMyPension campaign had a strong response, with 35,000 email messages from over 20,000 teachers, and ATA president Jason Schilling is hopeful that the relaunched campaign will help reverse what he calls a “hijacking” of teachers’ pensions. 

The government said the move is estimated to save $41 million in administrative costs, equivalent to $500 per teacher per year, despite ATRF data on past performance suggesting that the fund had been achieving higher returns. ❚ 

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