University, bargaining units get update on University Pension Project

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.

Read more on the Queen’s Gazette online

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More conciliation dates set for USW, CUPE negotiations

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.

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University, CUPE and USW, Local 2010 exchange proposals

The university and the employee group represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1302 are meeting today with the assistance of a government appointed Conciliation Officer. Conciliation bargaining dates have been confirmed for April 1 for CUPE Local 254 and  April 7 for CUPE Local 229.

Conciliation dates for USW, Local 2010 have been confirmed for April 9 and April 10.

All parties are working on scheduling additional bargaining dates.

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.

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Graduate research assistant union certification application update

Ballots remain sequestered following a vote on an application by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) for trade union certification to represent graduate research assistants at the university. The vote was conducted by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) in April 2014.  In October 2014, the OLRB mandated the process the university and PSAC would be required to follow to determine which of those who cast ballots had the status of employees at the time the vote was held and would therefore be eligible to be members of the bargaining unit. Ballots will remain sequestered until the OLRB can determine the eligibility of each voter.

Under the direction of the OLRB, the parties will continue to consider the names of voters, in groups of 10, to determine their eligibility. Since October 2014, decisions have been made on the status of 10 voters pursuant to this process.

The university recognizes the democratic right of employees to vote on whether or not to become members of a bargaining unit and looks forward to the OLRB’s determination of which voters are eligible so that ballots can be counted and a decision reached on PSAC’s application for certification.

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Conciliation dates set for CUPE negotiations

Conciliation dates have been finalized between the university and Queen’s employee groups represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in their negotiations toward a new collective agreement.

Conciliation talks will occur:

  • March 31 between the university and CUPE 1302.
  • April 1 between the university and CUPE 254.
  • April 7 between the university and CUPE 229.

During conciliation, which is a common occurrence during collective bargaining, a provincially appointed conciliation officer will assist the university and the various employee groups as they work through the outstanding issues.

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