Bargaining Update: U of S withdraws pension options, says it will unilaterally make cuts to the pension plan

cupe1975Negotiations/Bargaining

The University of Saskatchewan continues to force Local 1975 needlessly towards job action.

Their latest proposal is a further step backwards. They have withdrawn their pension proposal and let us know that – instead of bargaining changes – they plan to make unilateral changes to your pension plan without any input from the union.  We are concerned they plan to convert the defined benefit plan to an inferior defined contribution plan in the near future.

They have withdrawn their revised compensation model proposal and are still offering 0-0-0-2-2, with a $3000 signing bonus.  The proposed signing bonus is not available for FAPA students, casuals, and recurring relief and is pro-rated based on FTE.  A 3-year wage freeze means a loss of tens of thousands of dollars in wages over a career of work for an average CUPE member. Members who are at the top of their phase, will not get a wage increase at all for the term of this Collective Agreement.

Your bargaining committee wants to reiterate that our pension plan is the cheapest pension plan per employee on campus, and costs less than 1 percent of the operating costs of the University.

We firmly believe that our members deserve a say in their retirement security, deserve a secure pension after a career of work, and that all changes to the pension plan should be negotiated at the bargaining table.

CUPE has spent much of the last month in essential services hearings, at the University’s insistence. At these hearings, the University has been making the case that the work our members do is so essential, that they should be deprived of their Charter rights to take job action. This latest step backwards at the bargaining table proves once again that despite arguing that our members are essential in their eyes, we are clearly not valued or respected.