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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Additional conciliation dates have been scheduled between the university and Queen’s employee groups represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the United Steelworkers in their negotiations toward new collective agreements.
Conciliation talks between the university and CUPE groups will occur:
- May 8 in the morning (CUPE 1302)
- May 8 in the afternoon (CUPE 254)
- May 13 (CUPE 229)
- May 20 (all three CUPE employee groups)
Conciliation talks between the university and USW Local 2010 will take place on May 25, 27, 28 as well June 15, 16, 18, 19.
Negotiations toward a new collective agreement between the university and the Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA) commenced in January 2015 and are also ongoing.
The university is focused on reaching negotiated agreements with all employee groups that both balance the university’s need to preserve its core academic mission and respect the limitations dictated by current financial realities.
The university values the contributions of its many employees and remains committed to the collective bargaining process.
The university and Queen’s employee groups represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have both agreed to conciliation in order to reach a new collective agreement. In conciliation, the parties are assisted by a provincially appointed conciliation officer as they work through outstanding issues. Conciliation dates have yet to be confirmed. The university administration respects the collective bargaining process and remains committed to working through it to reach a negotiated settlement.
Negotiations toward a new collective agreement between the university and the Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA) also commenced with an initial meeting on Jan. 20.