POLITICS
02/07/2014 01:55 EST | Updated 04/09/2014 05:59 EDT

New Brunswick finance minister wants teacher pension changes done this session

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's finance minister says he wants legislation to revise teacher pensions passed during this session of the legislature.

Blaine Higgs says it's important to complete the changes because the government can't continue to make special payments that have averaged $83 million annually over the last 10 years.

The government wants the teachers to adopt a shared-risk pension model that wouldn't see the government having to make such payments.

Higgs says he wants to complete talks with the teachers by the end of this month, but the New Brunswick Teachers Federation says teachers want a full review of their plan, no matter how long it takes.

Liberal Opposition Leader Brian Gallant says the talks are being rushed and there isn't enough information available to the employees to make a decision.

Higgs says there have been ongoing meetings with the teachers and he's willing to meet with anyone to share the figures.

He says he's sure the federation would like to see the issue delayed until after the September election in the hopes the changes could be avoided.