As you are aware, the members of your bargaining committee met and exchanged proposals with your employer on December 12, 2012.
The exchange of proposals was cordial and collective bargaining continued on January 10 & 25, 2013.
A copy of the union’s proposals were circulated to the membership. We have tabled proposals that will improve the current collective agreement and recognize the value of the work you do.
As you may or may not know, the pension plan is in a difficult position. According to the most recent actuarial projections, the plan is only fifty (50) percent funded on a solvency basis. The Sherbrooke Restoration Commission is facing an unfunded liability of 1.8 million on a solvency basis or $900,000 on a going-concern basis. The Commission has understandably sought to address this state of affairs in the current round of bargaining.
Unfortunately, collective bargaining was delayed for a considerable period as the parties worked collaboratively to develop a plan that, in principle, would offer a potential solution to a critical pension plan problem.
The parties have jointly retained the actuarial services of Eckler Ltd., which will set out possible options for this pension plan going forward. The costs associated will be split between the employer and the union, so as not to impose additional costs on the pension plan. Upon receipt of Eckler’s draft report, any proposal must be approved by the Commission, and the NSGEU and our membership.
In the meantime, the parties agreed to resume collective bargaining on the understanding that a mutually satisfactory resolution to the pension plan matter will be reached. To that end, the parties met on Thursday, August 29th, and we are pleased to advise that a number of items both monetary and non-monetary were agreed upon. Having said that, the employer has yet to respond to the Union’s latest wage proposal which calls for economic increases of 2% effective April 1, 2012, 2.5% effective April 1, 2013 and 3% effective April 1, 2014. As well, proposed changes to Schedules “A” & “B” remain outstanding.
No new dates have been set as the parties await Eckler’s draft report. A meeting of the membership will be held to review Eckler’s draft report and to answer questions that you will likely have. Please watch for additional updates regarding details of the meeting.
The bargaining committee would like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this very important issue.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of your bargaining committee or the NSGEU at 424-4063 or email us at email@example.com.