MYTHS ABOUT OUR PENSION PLAN (10,11,12)

cupe1975Negotiations/Bargaining, Pensions

MYTH

Federal and provincial regulations limit member risk sharing and will leave the University with increased financial responsibility

FACT

We are not aware of any such hard limits that are not routinely waived by the federal government. Members in SK and elsewhere around the country routinely contribute directly to deficit payments without regulatory issues. Most public sector workers are in jointly-sponsored plans with full risk-sharing.

MYTH

CUPE’s proposed governance structure is complex and costly

FACT

Our governance proposal was clear and simple and follows best practices for pension governance from around the country. The pension plan already has an advisory committee which meets regularly. Our proposal would have essentially formalized this committee to act as the joint administrator of the pension plan. In our view, this is would not lead to any substantial increase in costs, and would benefit the University by sharing the current regulatory and compliance risks it faces alone in the current arrangement.

We will of course continue to have differences of opinion on the pension plan. But we want to work those out at a joint table, rather than having changes imposed by the University (as the University has threatened to do). That is not a “complexity” – that is honest bargaining to find mutually-agreeable solutions, which we remain committed to doing. If the University had specific concerns with our proposed governance framework, they could have discussed them at the table, rather than simply rejecting our compromise proposal as a whole.

MYTH

“The university has been exploring solutions both outside and inside of negotiations with CUPE 1975 for 10 years to make the Non Academic Pension Plan sustainable”

FACT

We were clear with the University that our members do not want to give up their secure Defined Benefits in retirement, which cannot be delivered with a contribution limit for the University. We did, however, propose a clear compromise on the employer’s concern about risk – effectively offering to meet them halfway and share risk on a 50/50 basis which the University rejected. This builds on substantive proposals we made in the last round of bargaining that would have likewise shifted costs and risks. CUPE has been making significant efforts to make pension proposals that directly address the University’s stated concern.  The University, on the other hand, has not moved from their insistence on Defined Contribution or Target Benefit plans since 2012.