Pension Arbitration Update

CUPEPensions

update12 The Employer initiated grievance was the grievance where the University wanted an arbitrator to rule on whether or not the University can make unilateral changes to OUR pension plan;

The union initiated a grievance where we questioned the  employer taking pension contribution holidays.

APRIL 27, 2017 UPDATE

The Employer’s grievance against CUPE Local 1975 was heard by an Arbitration board on March 29, 2017.  As a reminder, the employer has filed a grievance to determine whether or not they have the right to make changes to our pension plan without our consent. We are awaiting a decision by the Arbitration board – which may  take several months.  Both parties have agreed to put the union’s pension grievance against the University of Saskatchewan on hold while the parties discuss and negotiate pension matters during collective bargaining.  We are hopeful that we can achieve a satisfactory resolution but if not, we can continue with the arbitration of our grievance.  When we discuss pensions at the bargaining table, we will have the additional resource of our pension experts from CUPE National who will assist with that aspect of negotiations.

Several bargaining dates are set for May and June, and into the fall. We look forward to getting underway in the coming days and weeks and we will keep the membership posted.

Your bargaining committee knows how important our pension plan is, and we are prepared to do whatever it takes to protect it into the future.

If you have any further questions regarding the above please call the Union office at 966-7015 and Evelyn will direct   you to one of the members on our negotiating team.

Previous Posts

The Union and the employer were scheduled to proceed to arbitration September 26-29 with respect to the two pension grievances — the Employer initiated grievance was the grievance where the University wanted an arbitrator to rule on whether or not the University can make unilateral changes to OUR pension plan;

The union initiated a grievance where we questioned the  employer taking pension contribution holidays.

Due to some preliminary legal matters that were unable to be resolved prior to the arbitration dates, the arbitrations have been rescheduled for April 24-28, 2017.

We have asked the employer to provide us with prospective dates for negotiations.

Long Term Disability Increase – July Pay Cheques

CUPEMiscellaneous

The Union will be bringing up the shortfall in Negotiations however, at the present please note the following:

On June 3, 2016, the Non-Academic Pension & Benefits Committee reviewed the Non-Academic Disability Plan renewal report. The report measures the submitted disability claims and plan costs over the past year against the level of premiums collected. Based on this report, the committee approved a new premium rate of 2.48%, effective July 1, 2016. Beginning with your July 2016 paycheque, you will see an LTD plan payroll deduction of 2.48% from your salary.  This change represents an increase from 2015-2016 rate of 1.71 % due to continued increase in claims and associated costs to cover the past few years.  This increase will assist in supporting the financial sustainability of the disability plan.

The committee has carefully considered this increase and is committed to working closely with Sun Life and Human Resources to support the effective and sustainable administration of both our Disability Insurance Plan and Disability Management Program.

Sincerely,

Sylvia Rempel
Senior Specialist, Compensation & Benefits

Watch: CUPE 1975 Pension Information Sessions

CUPEPensions

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.

Update on negotiations

CUPEBargaining

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