Our pension is the University of Saskatchewan non-academic pension plan.
On September 24, 2015 the University of Saskatchewan chose to file a grievance against CUPE Local 1975 to challenge our right to have a say on the future of our pension plan.
The Employer’s grievance essentially seeks a third party arbitrator to determine if the University can make unilateral changes to the pension plan. In the past, pension changes have been negotiated, as is required by our collective agreement. The Union will respond to the Employer’s grievance to advocate that any changes to the pension plan will continue to be negotiated at the bargaining table.
The Union’s own outstanding pension grievance has also now been referred to arbitration. The Local’s grievance was filed in May of 2013 and had been held in abeyance while pension discussions were ongoing. It asserts a history of improper employer “contribution holidays” (where pension plan surplus was used to reduce the amount the University paid into the plan).
To be clear, the Union’s position is that any changes to the pension plan must be negotiated at the bargaining table. We strongly disagree with both the spirit and substance of the University’s grievance. In our view, this is a time-consuming and wasteful proceeding that can only damage labour relations on campus. As we’ve told the University many times: we remain open to discussing the pension plan in the proper forum: the collective bargaining table.