Published: January 31st 2012
Source: TCRC General Committees of Adjustment
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CPR Eastern and Western Regions:
Your Bargaining Committee, together with the TCRC Bargaining Committee representing the Rail Traffic Controllers, met with CP Rail from January 24 to 27th in Montreal. This represented our third face to face bargaining session and the third consecutive meeting where the employer’s bargaining team has tabled additional contract demands onto our membership.
CP Rail had wanted to bring in their pension “professionals” to explain their view of pension solvency funding. We had agreed to listen to these people in the interests of good faith bargaining and agreed to set aside one complete day. At the end of that day, CP Rail served yet another demand onto the bargaining table, as follows:
“CP needs its pension and post retirement benefit costs at or below current CN levels”
“Option 1: Defined Contribution pension plan for all future service and CN’s post retirement Health Care Spending Account program”
“Option 2: CN-style defined benefit pension plan with CN’s $60,025 maximum pension and CN’s post retirement Health Spending Account program.”
CP further wrote:
“While Option 1 is our preferred option, we are prepared to discuss Option 2.”
We are being assisted by Brother Yves Gagnon, who is a pension actuary for Teamsters Canada and who has over thirty years of professional experience in solvency funding and pension design. He is assisting us throughout bargaining on this subject and he was present with us during the meeting with CP. We have requested detailed information from CP Rail so that we can have our own professionals analyze what CP has tabled. That information has, to date, not been provided despite some of those requests dating back to October and to our first initial meeting.
The week continued meeting with CP and they had an additional half day to speak to their issues. However, they did not speak to their pension demand, nor did they share any of the requested pension information.
We have another bargaining session scheduled for next week, beginning February 6th, with one day committed again to pensions. We will continue to insist that CP focus on real and good faith collective bargaining.
CP’s latest demand to alter the Pension Plan and effectively eliminate most post-retirement health benefits is completely unacceptable. It appears that CP wants to manage any pension shortfalls on the back of the current and future unionized work force without shouldering any liability to Management. CP Management Defined Benefit Pension benefits will continue and which contain more options than the unionized employees ever had.
If there was anyone who thought the historical bargaining, and jointly negotiated agreements meant anything to CP anymore, this latest demand should remove all doubt.
If there is anyone who thought that CP appreciated all of your extra efforts during the past floods, natural disasters and manpower shortages, think again.
We are absolutely committed to fighting for and protecting your jobs, your pension, and the respect and dignity each of you deserve. Every Executive Officer of the TCRC is committed to the fight for the CP Rail members. Teamsters Canada is supporting us with that same level of commitment and assistance. We have assembled a team of legal, pension, and financial specialists to fight for the protection to the work rules and pension benefits that each of you has earned, deserve, and have paid for.
While the challenge ahead may be great, we will stand together, united and strong, and we will endeavor to fight this latest attack on our jobs and now our pension. As stated in previous bulletins your support is appreciated as we are dedicated to take the time necessary to obtain a negotiated agreement.
Sincerely and in Solidarity,
General Chairman, LE West
General Chairman, CTY West
General Chairman, LE East
General Chairman, CTY East