Here are some handouts for quick reference around your pension plan and the issues at stake:
Watch this YouTube video featuring the information session which was held on June 28th featuring our CUPE National’s Pension’s Expert Kevin Skerrett. This video should be watched in its entirety by all CUPE 1975 members. Members need to be aware of why the union is fighting to keep your Defined Benefit Pension Plan. Your plan promises a specified monthly benefit on retirement that is predetermined by a formula based on your earnings history, tenure of service and age, rather than depending directly on individual investment returns.
All pensions are meant to be your deferred wages in retirement. In the past, as part of negotiations, CUPE 1975 has sometimes elected to take less in wages to insure a financially healthy pension for our members. We believe it is important for our members to have a secure, predictable source of income to supplement any Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Pension streams of income at a time when most of us will be in a lower income bracket. In many cases your Defined Pension Plan will be the difference between living above or below the Canadian Poverty line.
Thank you to all members who attended the recent pension information sessions facilitated by Kevin Skerrett, CUPE National’s pension’s advisor. We hope you found the sessions informative and gained a better understanding of your pension plan and the challenges that lay ahead for our union members. For those of you who could not attend the meetings, a video will be available on our website shortly. (www.cupe1975.ca)
As many of you will recall, the University of Saskatchewan has filed a grievance in regards to your pensions, seeking the ability to make unilateral changes to the plan. In essence the employer is seeking the right to make changes to our pension plan without having any changes negotiated with CUPE 1975.
The arbitration will be heard this September and a decision may take a few months before it is rendered. We have been in discussion with the employer regarding negotiations, and we are in agreement that the results of the September arbitrations will have a significant impact on the direction of any monetary items which will be negotiated in the upcoming round of negotiations. A majority of the issues we discuss with the employer in contract negotiations have a monetary aspect and impact; therefore, the negotiating team has agreed with the employer to delay the start of negotiations until January of 2017. Your committee is utilizing this time to continue preparing for negotiations so that we can achieve the best collective agreement possible for our members.
Negotiations Team, CUPE Local 1975
Craig Hannah, Bob Jones, Ryan Klassen, Natalie Laing, Jeff Theis
Ann Iwanchuk, National Representative