RRUFA Meeting minutes – November 2014

RRUFA November Monthly Meeting Minutes

November 12, 2014

LIC Centre for Dialogue

Present: (Total present: 22)

Niels Agger-Gupta Y Geoff Archer   Jo Axe Y Brian Belcher  
Geoffrey Bird   David Black   Judith Blanchette   Tony Boydell  
Connie Carter   Kenneth Christie Y Robin Cox   Ann Dale  
Audrey Dallimore   Matt Dodd   Juana Du      
Catherine Etmanski   Lois Fearon Y Joshua Guilar   Doug Hamilton  
Brigitte Harris Y Rick Hinton   Julia Jahanzoosi   Ingrid Kajzer-Mitchell  
Leslie King   Richard Kool Y Charles Krusekopf Y Zhenyi Li  
Ron Lindstrom   Chris Ling Y Stephen Long Y Will Low  
Eva Malisius   Kathleen Manion Y Virginia McKendry Y Will Meredith Y
Robert Mittelman   Jonathan Moran   Jessica Mussell Y Mickie Noble  
Eileen Piggot-Irvine   Terry Power   Siomonn Pulla Y Michael Real Y
Carolin Rekar Munro   Chaseten Remillard   Wendy Rowe Y Erich Schellhammer Y
Bernard Schissel   Jean Slick Y Marilyn Taylor Y Eugene Thomlinson Y
Mike Thompson   Phillip Vannini   George Veletsianos   Hassan Wafai  
Jennifer Walinga Y Rebecca Wilson Mah   Michael Young Y Amy Zidulka  

1. Call to order at 12: 10pm (President Ken)
2. Special Presentation: Dr. Dominique Roelants, Executive Officer of the College, Public Service & Teachers’ Pension Boards:
3. Approval of October minutes:
4. New Business:
4.1 RE: Steve Grundy’s Parents
5. Old Business:
6. Regular Reports:
5.1 Bargaining: (Wendy)
5.2 Board of Governors: (Charles)
5.3 Academic Council: (Rick)
5.4. CUFA-BC: (Rick)
5.5 Website: (Will)
5.6 Social: (The “Two Geoffs”)
5.7 Grievance Report: (Ken for David)
5.8 Health & Safety: (Jean)
7. Other Business:
8. Adjournment:

1. Call to order at 12: 10pm (President Ken)

2. Special Presentation: Dr. Dominique Roelants, Executive Officer of the College, Public Service & Teachers’ Pension Boards:

[For anyone wanting specific information, please go to the website:

Dominique: The Benefit formula is changing –
Plan designed many years ago – since 1960s… RRU lucky to have gone into plan at outset…
By contrast, the UBC plan results in 1/4 million upon retirement – or an annuity of $5K per year. (very poor retirement income)

In 2000 – created a Statutory Plan to Jointly administer plan – joint trust agreement among
BCGEU; FPSE; PSEA; BC Government Partners needed to agree on joint trust.
Can change contribution rates – partners have veto…
Direct Board can only make changes with partner approval;
Change to pension benefit formula – directed by plan partners. Dominique was chair until recently… Jan1 2016 change date…
If board disagrees – have fiduciary duty to maintain fund… they won’t add more benefits as this would cost the fund – and the membership.
RRU involved but with none of the partners…

Governance – Employee trustees – 3 FPSE (2 active plan members); 1 BCGEU; and 1 Retiree appointed jointly.
4 appointees – 1 PSE active member…
Current: Cindy Turner – position supposed to rep. other active members in plan…

Current Chair – Jerry Hutchins in AG office.
Plan rules – no additional cost… 2009 decision to cut retiree benefits made by trustees with no input from Partners…
Taking money from inflation adjustment – not good for young members.
Secretariat – has direct Board support. – this is different from Ontario teachers…
3 different structures:
– Pension Board Secretariat – 9 employees – planning advice
– Pension Corp – collects pensions – BC IMC – managing investment funds
– Board can make decisions about investments… Benefit

FPSE surveyed members on possible options (RRU participated in survey)
Members supported move to full 2% pension
2011 -= 61 average age at retirement; 2012 – 62;

Expand Canada Pension Plan – proposal to double – but this would be a big hit to members.

Members supported move to full pension even if it meant reducing pension from
65. Average member no worse off with new formula and reduction in age.
Expectation is that average age at retirement will continue to increase. Starting age in plan is 42…

Other changes?
2% reduced on all contributions – .25% for each month before age 65… Slight economic gain to new model… Adjustment – cap will be increased slightly…
RRU immune but Partners agreed each time salary grid goes up by 1% per year – part of that increase goes to pension agreement…

Prediction: settlement by Feb with an increase of 5.5% over 5 years – 0 this year so .59% salary increase. .
05% add – plus RRU employees (faculty) will have to match this…
One year by .075 – but how RRU will deal with this we don’t know
The Employer is probably telling FAs they will have to give 0.1% so they will say 2% increase this year but actually this will be only 1.9…

Q: Pension is based on average salary over last 5 years? What if I took a pay cut this year?
Dom.: They won’t cut your salary earnings for pension calculations – they would take previous years if you had better earnings in prior years and had cut your salary in the current year.

Q: can people draw pension and work till 70?
Dominique: Anyone drawing pension will have to cut all previous employee relations – if you want to work until age 71 then you can ‘double dip’ and draw pension… Phased retirement not yet approved by the Pension Plan, but they are looking at this…
As soon as you leave employment with Employer you would draw pension… Even if you are working for another employer…
Rick: now old enough to appreciate the pension. Managed defined benefit plan… People can’t afford to leave the university…
Wendy: Employer made remark with negative overtone re: changes…Why make comment…
Dominique: Employer is negotiating and come Sept 1, 2015, the Employer needs to find money from someone to pay for the benefits of any increase in salary…

[For anyone wanting specific information on their pension, please go to the College Pension Plan website:
http://www.pensionsbc.ca/portal/page/portal/pen_corp_home/cpp_home_page/ ]

3. Approval of October minutes:

Approved by Jennifer; seconded by Jessica.

4. New Business:
4.1 RE: Steve Grundy’s Parents
MOVED: that RRUFA make a $500 donation to the RRU Foundation for needy RRU students, as requested by Steve, – on the sad occasion of Steve Grundy’s parent’s death.
Moved: Niels 2nd:Wendy
Unanimous approval –

5. Old Business:

6. Regular Reports:

6.1 Bargaining: (Wendy)
Wendy: what should we call the retired faculty member who wishes to be a continuing faculty member? Employer does not like the terms Faculty Emeritus or Adjunct Faculty…
Wendy shared the report on the Professor of Teaching Proposal -Article 17/18 on defining full professor – and proposal having to do with tenure and promotion process – making this a single committee… The Employer is grappling with Research and Scholarship Leave. Their interpretation of PSEC rules re: Financial Envelope for faculty – they say there are rigid PSEC rules.. They would like faculty to fund R&S Leave entirely…
Q: are PSEC rules public policy?
Wendy: PSEC rules are invoked all the time…We keep hearing PSEC says this and that… Lyn J says she is an expert in PSEC…
RIck: this sounds like bargaining in bad faith – we are supposed to have all information on the table…
Comment: This is like an academic not citing your source..
Wendy: We have stated we are using an evidence-based approach. The Employer keeps telling us they “…just know the best approach.”… Our evidence-based report on Professor of Teaching line – we did an investigation – presented evidence with alternate suggestions…
Comment: This seems to be a lot like the RRU Act – all kinds of things were attributed to this – and document does not actually say very much.

Comment: hope your tenacity stays intact!
Wendy: I bring food to the Bargaining Table…
Comment: is there tenure – you have used twice?…
Wendy: we have continuing contracts, not “tenure” – Which looks like tenure but is not.
On the other hand, SSHRC treats this as tenure in grant applications…
Comment: This is a type of security…
Wendy: as much as anywhere – but if whole programs are eliminated faculty positions can be lost but this can happen at other universities as well… Same as word, sabbatical.. This exists in RRU senior administration contracts – as a provincial thing…

Question: Could adjunct and Faculty emeritus be changed through Academic Council?
Wendy: May have more of a role at adjunct terminology. Emeritus is still doled out by the President as a special honour…
Marilyn: She is an emeritus from Concordia – but this position is only for full professors… perhaps we might call our retirees, Distinguished emeritus?
Comment: distinguished adjunct?
Wendy: We want to have the possibility that faculty can maintain an active scholarly life… Try both emeritus and adjunct to see what happens. This does not cost university to formalize the relationship – by choice and enhances reputation of university when distinguished faculty retain their connection to the university… Benefits…
Will: The Employer has no objection that former faculty stays connected – but
Wendy: have now formalized – phased retirement…[but this can not include Pension until there is either no relationship or the faculty member reaches age 71.]

Ken: Thanks Wendy, for all the work you are doing –
Comment: Glad you, Wendy, are keeping calm and asking for data… Its what we do here at a university…
Wendy: if we want Research &Scholarship Leave, we may have to pay for this…
Question: have we costed this out yet?…
Wendy: We will be discussing this this PM.
Charles: We are caught in the middle. People with SSHRC funds – typical practice is that the university’s contribution is the person and the granting fund is the operation of the project for the university… Granting $ is prestigious for RRU…We are contravening intent of Granting councils – need to get Mary Bernard on board for this. Without this support we won’t have this funding… RRU seen as a bad bet since there is no time to actually do the research here.
Wendy: this does undermine us – we are considered one of the research universities and it is important to university that we have research leave…They can’t walk away from this issue…This is a joint responsibility – university needs to contribute to this – not simply a faculty benefit – also an institutional benefit.
Will: research has to come out of total compensation.
Wendy: they have a mistake that they can not take away your earned vacations… IF they want our agreement on vacation, they will have to give us some of the things we want…

6.2 Board of Governors: (Charles)
No report as Charles had to leave.
6.3 Academic Council: (Rick)
Rick: Interesting item at last AC meeting on Academic regulations re: thesis… This was turned back to a small committee to revise. 1 member of a Thesis supervisory committee should hold a doctorate and other member does not necessarily have to.
6.4. CUFA-BC: (Rick)
Rick: MIchael Conlon new ED for CUFA-BC. He was at UBC – very capable guy – there had been 3 people on short list – Conlon will start Dec/January…Want to see CUFA-BC action…
Ken: we should have Conlon here in new year.

6.5 Website: (Will)
Nothing to report.

6.6 Social: (The “Two Geoffs”)
Geoff and Geoff – not here
6.7 Grievance Report: (Ken for David)
Nothing to report.
6.8 Health & Safety: (Jean)
Jean was unaware she had been nominated Health & Safety rep. Chris will see if Mickey will take this on.

7. Other Business:
Rick: email transition: in offering new plan – how and why would they delete 5 years old – these are out documents. These are our documents that are supposed to be in our custody and control… Old students contact you for references – and this is where these are used…

Jessica: people with Macs – have a problem…
Jean: there must be some way to have long-term archival.
Rick: this is an issue of time, since they tell us it is not an issue of space..

8. Adjournment:
Move to adjourn: 1:32 pm. Approved by Erich; seconded by MIchael.

Recorder: Niels Agger-Gupta