Bargaining Alert: CUASA and CU Reach Agreement on Association Participation at JPRC

CUASA and CU Reach Agreement on Association Participation at JPRC

This past Friday, August 10, CUASA and the University Administration met with mediator Michelle Flaherty to discuss the Association’s participation at the new Joint Pension Review Committee (JPRC). The establishment of the JPRC stems from the University’s Letter of Understanding with CUPE 2424 following their nearly five-week strike.

Since the pension issue is a complicated one, when CUASA and the Employer met with mediator William Kaplan in May, the parties signed a Letter of Understanding and agreed to continue discussions after ratification. This included meeting with Michelle Flaherty to establish a Letter of Understanding regarding CUASA’s participation at the JPRC.

Following Friday’s session, the parties reached an agreement to recognize CUASA’s formal participation in the JPRC with other campus unions. Further, the University agreed that recommendations of the JPRC will be submitted simultaneously to the University Pension Committee and the University’s Board of Governors.

As per the August 10 JPRC LoU, the Employer will provide a draft terms of reference for the JPRC seven days before the first meeting, and the draft will be a discussion topic for the first meeting. The Association has reserved its right to withdraw from the JPRC if it is unwilling to agree to the final proposed terms of reference.

This agreement is without prejudice or precedent to the Association’s rights.

Additionally, the parties were unable to resolve their differences on the proposed language in Article 39.8 (formerly 40.8). This issue began with the Employer’s April 20 attack at the bargaining table on the pension language, which CUASA tried to counter in mediation in May, but the Employer refused to entertain CUASA’s proposal. In light of this, the parties will be proceeding with last-chance discussions to try to resolve this. Failing that, the matter will proceed to interest arbitration with William Kaplan.

CUASA’s legal complaint with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) also remains active. This is regarding the 2003 amendment to the pension plan that eliminated the Minimum Benefit Guarantee. CUASA’s complaint is similar to the one filed by CUPE 2424 with FSCO in March.

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