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USW Local 2010 and QUFA support transition to UPP, ratify collective agreements

United Steelworkers Local 2010 and Queen’s University Faculty Association members have voted to support the University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP), moving the university closer to a new, sustainable defined benefit pension plan for the future. 

More than 96 per cent of votes cast by QUFA members who are Queen’s Pension Plan members voted in support of a renewed collective agreement and consent to the UPP. USW Local 2010 members cast 96.4 per cent of votes in favour. 

The ratifications mean that USW Local 2010 and QUFA will be providing consent to the proposed UPP on behalf of the members of the Queen’s Pension Plan that they represent. Pension consent agreements form part of the USW and QUFA collective agreements. 

The conversion to the UPP requires a formal consent process, set out in provincial statutes and regulations. Employees represented by USW and faculty associations are now the first groups of plan members to give their representative unions and associations a mandate to support the UPP through to conclusion.  

“The ratifications by the USW and QUFA are major steps forward in our journey towards the UPP,” says Donna Janiec, Queen’s Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “I want to thank everyone involved for their support in getting us to this point. It represents years of hard work.” 

The USW and faculty associations at the two other founding UPP universities, the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph, have also ratified agreements to support the UPP. 

“We are very pleased that QUFA and USW Local 2010 members recognize that supporting the UPP represents a move towards ensuring we have a defined benefit pension plan that will provide strong, dependable retirement income for pension members at Queen’s in the long-term,” says Janiec.

In order to reach the mandated level of consent to introduce the new plan, Queen’s still requires the support of other unions and its non-unionized employees. The university will continue its discussions with other union groups, and will be providing additional information to non-unionized employees who are required to vote individually.  

The UPP will be a jointly sponsored pension plan (JSPP), initially inclusive of three universities – Queen’s University, the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph. Employers and plan members will jointly govern it. Other universities across Ontario will be able to join, once the UPP is established.  

The UPP follows the model of other well-known, defined benefit pension plans, such as the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS).  

 More information about the UPP and the ongoing consent process is available on the UPP website.