Press Release September 21st 2016

atu_memo-optimum ATU OPTIMUM CONSULTING DOCUMENT

mercer-report MERCER REPORT

 

September21,2016

 

ATU 615 Members,

Please review the attached document that was provided to us by Optimum Consultants a certified reputable actuarial firm that we hired to give us their opinion on the status of the pension plan, using the information given to us during the bargaining process and afterwards. I am also attaching a portion of the pension presentation given to the group of us from Mercer  On October 29,2013. Mercer who was there speaking on behalf of the City of Saskatoon states that the risk of contribution rates is not acceptable. You will note in the Optimum document that at the point of bargaining the true financial picture of the plan was available ,but the city presentation from Mercer does not reference this whatsoever. All of our statements we have made in relation to the pension issue, are confirmed in this Document .  

 

 

ATU 615 Executive,

Press Release Sept 19th 2016

Sept.19,2016,
ATU Members,

The city has put a media release out that wages and other issues have been resolved and all that remains between us is that we want a better pension than anyone else. First off, our bargaining wages and other issues at the table, we have made it very clear that and any agreements at the table are conditional on ATU members not agreeing to the agreement in principle document which effectively converts our defined benefit pension plan to a target plan. The difference is that allowing the city to cap their contributions and with the parties agreeing to the dispute resolution mechanism, are the two items ATU members are not in agreement with. Since 1964 this plan has functioned under a defined benefit structure, whereby we as ATU members contribute our wages into this plan and the city is the legal liable overall sponsor.It does not mean that we are not responsible partners to ensure the long term viability of the plan. We have always sat down at the bargaining table and agree to find solutions on how to ensure sustainability of the plan. After all this is our money in this plan, and as a condition of putting our contributions together with the negotiated city contributions ,the existing governing rules of the plan state that unless negotiated otherwise, the city is responsible in the event there are shortfalls. Even though the plan is still registered as a defined benefit plan, the agreement in principle that all others have signed, changes it to a target benefit plan structure. It now is a defined benefit plan without any guarantee that benefits might change at some point in the future. The city did not divulge the true financial picture of the plan at the point of bargaining in December of 2013. We have a certified actuarial report from a reputable actuarial firm confirming this. Even knowing this, we have attempted to discuss a risk sharing proposal for the future whereby we would agree to share the risk 50-50 for the future, but the city is adamant that ATU members are going to absorb all the risk and sign the same deal as the others. This effectively transfers 100% of the risk from the city to us. For the city to make claim that we have refused to take an offer back to our members, is accurate. Here are the reasons. They insisted that we give up our pension grievances and our right to have the arbitrator rule on the outcome ,and if we don’t succumb to their request then they are not providing us the offer to take back to our members. We provided language that we could agree with in regards to our pension grievances ,but they refused. I can state that we were prepared to let the membership decide on whether they accept or not, but because we did not succumb to their tactics in wanting us to drop the grievances, we don’t have an offer to present to you at this time. I must also state that we are not or would not have been recommending acceptance of their last offer based on the fact that they refuse to move off their pension proposal in any capacity. We told the city ,we would take it back, but would not recommend acceptance, but they declined to accept our language enabling us to have the arbitrator rule on the grievance. Hence we do not have an official offer to bring back to you at this time.

 

 

 

 

 

I want to clarify to you that we have not initiated any form of job action at this time, only because I believe in the best interests of this union that the issue of our essential services agreement gets dealt with. On Friday Sept 23 at 10 am ,we will be attending a tribunal hearing to present our facts to the tribunal . We will keep you apprised as events unfold, but as of now there will be no forms of job action initiated by your executive. There is a lot of uncertainty on what is the next course of action from your executive. In the simplest of terms, we do not have a collective agreement yet, and the city is putting out misinformation and half truths in an all out effort to make you believe that your executive is misleading you and that your executive has refused to take the last offer back to you. Casting all the blame on us and attempting to convince you to trust them more than you can trust us. I want to remind you of who locked you out and stripped one months wages from your pocket. Who told the world that they wanted to exert economic pressure on you so that you would succumb to their bullying into submission tactics and simply take what they are willing to give? Who is now telling you in their media releases that We care about our employees? If they truly cared about you, why are they taking 4 years to settle our contract. I can tell you that at least 3 candidates including the current mayor had to block their facebook accounts from people commenting on this transit issue. The fact we have shown solidarity and strength has had a tremendous impact by serving notice of job action. This could not have been accomplished without your support and believing that your executive will do everything within our control to bring closure . We have a plan and are committed to following through in fighting for fairness for our ATU members. Come out to the meetings on Wednesday to find out more information and we will gladly give you the accurate information. The city is playing this pit member against member strategy ,forcing us to focus on each other namely your executive, so that you forget where the real focus should be. The City of Saskatoon can fix this and we need to ensure that they do, by giving us a fair deal.

United We Bargain Divided We Beg,

Solidarity,

Jim Yakubowski

 

 

Press Release Sept 14th 2016

extra-extra

update-sept-12th-2016

 

September 12,2015

 

ATU 615 Members,

 

This Notice is to inform you that your executive is returning to the bargaining table today in an effort to reach a fair settlement. We will provide further updates as the process evolves. For your information we have hired a reputable pension actuarial firm to provide us with their overview of our pension plan and here are some examples of their findings. These are quotes from the document .”Given the surplus position in 2013-2015 on a mark to market basis, it seems that the city took advantage of out-dated 2012 valuation results to attempt to change the benefit promise from a defined benefit to a target benefit plan” They also state in this document “Taking on additional costs should not mean accepting additional risks such as those associated with a target benefit plan. Capping the employer contributions is an extreme design change that should be considered only if the plan was in severe financial turmoil ,which is not the case for the plan” At  some point we will make the complete document available to you , but as of now we are informing you that we have verification that our pension position at the bargaining table is substantiated  by this document.  Stay strong and vigilant and we will perservere. United we bargain Divided we beg.

Solidarity,

ATU 615 Executive

SPECIAL MEETING

special-meeting1

 

NEGOTIATION UPDATE SPECIAL MEETING
JOB ACTION DISCUSSION
SEPTEMBER 15,2016

Your executive will be holding special meetings at the Ramada Hotel Diefenbaker room at 10 am and 730 pm to discuss the status of negotiations and potential job action if necessary.
The topics of this meeting will be limited to these items only.
Please plan to attend these important meetings to partake in discussions concerning these issues that will impact us all today and in our future.

jobaction

 

 

Update Re: Negotiations

debt-negotiation-table-slide

 

The Below Letter Was Sent Out To Our Members

September 12,2015

 

 

ATU 615 Members,

 

This Notice is to inform you that your executive is returning to the bargaining table today in an effort to reach a fair settlement. We will provide further updates as the process evolves. For your information we have hired a reputable pension actuarial firm to provide us with their overview of our pension plan and here are some examples of their findings. These are quotes from the document .”Given the surplus position in 2013-2015 on a mark to market basis, it seems that the city took advantage of out-dated 2012 valuation results to attempt to change the benefit promise from a defined benefit to a target benefit plan” They also state in this document “Taking on additional costs should not mean accepting additional risks such as those associated with a target benefit plan. Capping the employer contributions is an extreme design change that should be considered only if the plan was in severe financial turmoil ,which is not the case for the plan” At  some point we will make the complete document available to you , but as of now we are informing you that we have verification that our pension position at the bargaining table is substantiated  by this document.  Stay strong and vigilant and we will perservere. United we bargain Divided we beg.

Solidarity,

ATU 615 Executive

Where Is The Fairness Rally

 

ATU 615 will be hosting an awareness rally on Saturday September 10 at 3pm at city hall. We have extended invitations to all labor organizations to join our members for a rally to increase awareness that the City of Saskatoon has yet to conclude a collective agreement with ATU 615 since December 31,2012.Our ATU sisters and brothers from Edmonton,Calgary, Regina ,Winnipeg will be travelling to join us for this rally and will be joining us in support of our cause. Please mark your calendar and plan on attending these events as guest speakers Larry Hubich- President SFL, Paul Thorp –President ATU Canada,ATU International IVP Bob Hykaway,among other dignitaries will be joining us in support of our cause.

Letter To The Editor

As a past transit operator and ATU Vice President it continues to amaze me that the employer just doesn’t get it, not only did they implement a program to have sick employees checked on but have failed to do one of their infamous studies to find the reason for so much ‘Sick Time’ usage. 

Who has a job that entails dealing with a public that when boarding a bus will cough on you, sneeze on you, at times will even spit on you, expect you to inspect a transfer that someone has been holding in their mouth, and then has you drive a city bus over roads that not only bounce passengers around, but have you endure this physical torture for eight hours or more a day…no one on city council, city hall management or even management at transit have to endure the physical discomfort of being a transit operator.

 

Add to the physical part of the job the stress of trying to stay on schedule through traffic that isn’t very forgiving, following ever changing routes and schedules, and then on top of that the never ending detours.

 

It is commonly documented that the job of a transit operator is highly stressful, stress causes diminished immunity, start adding all this up and it is surprising that there isn’t more sick leave usage than what is recorded, I would suggest that HR Director, Marno McInnes is seriously out of touch with the reality of what the job entails and what those operators face on a daily basis..

 

Maybe if management would start telling city council what it should be hearing instead of what they want council to hear a lot more reality would go into solving the perceived problem of ‘Sick Leave’ usage.

 

 

Al Sneddon

Langham