The tentative collective agreement between the university and the Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA) is now official following the successful conclusion of QUFA’s ratification vote earlier today. The human resources committee of the Queen’s Board of Trustees voted to ratify the agreement earlier this week.
“I want to thank members of both the QUFA and university negotiating teams for their hard work in reaching this new agreement,” says Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf. “This is a positive outcome as we enter the new academic term, allowing us to preserve the quality of our academic mission within the limits of our current financial reality.”
The new four-year agreement will expire on April 30, 2019. Highlights include:
• Across-the-board, annual salary increases of 1 per cent, 1.25 per cent, 1.5 per cent and 1.75 per cent.
• A memorandum of agreement that reaffirms the parties’ shared commitment to the university pension project and sets out the process for engaging in that project.
Negotiations between QUFA and the university began in January of this year. Bargaining took place over 37 dates, five of which were conducted with the assistance of a provincially appointed conciliator.
QUFA represents approximately 1,350 university faculty, librarians and archivists.
Representatives from the university and employee bargaining units recently met to receive an update on the University Pension Project (UPP) from Allan Shapira, one of the actuaries working on the province-wide pension initiative.
With many Ontario universities, including Queen’s, facing significant deficits in their pension plans, the UPP is currently examining the feasibility of a new multi-employer, jointly sponsored pension plan (JSPP) for the university sector in Ontario. It is being led by the Council of Ontario Universities and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, with the active participation of individual universities and bargaining units. The project has received funding from the Government of Ontario and a final report to the government is due in the fall.
Mr. Shapira, a senior partner at the actuarial firm Aon Hewitt, gave a presentation on the progress made so far by the UPP and the remaining work that needs to be done. He discussed the set of shared principles for a new JSPP, already agreed to by all parties in the project, and provided an overview of the pension regulatory environment in Ontario. He also spoke to the key issues the project’s participants still need to resolve.
At the meeting, the bargaining units presented the university with a pension cooperation agreement that they recently signed, which is directed at pursuing a coordinated and proactive approach to long-term pension sustainability.
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