OCUFA, alongside our members, continues to explore new pension options for the university sector. In early February, we invited our member associations to indicate a desire to work with us and other like-minded faculty associations on this project through a newly established group, and to provide the name of an individual committed to providing faculty association input as these explorations unfold. Associations were asked to provide OCUFA with a motion indicating a desire to participate in the group’s explorations. Whether a faculty association ultimately seeks or receives a mandate from its own members to join either a newly created multi-employer pension plan or an existing Jointly Sponsored Pension Plan (JSPP) is a decision for a later date.
All the parties in the university sector continue to await feedback from government on the joint principles tabled by the Union Pension Coalition and COU on January 20th, and OCUFA remains committed to those six principles as a necessary foundation for the creation of a multi-employer JSPP option for this sector. The principles are:
- Participation in a sector-wide or multi-employer JSPP will be voluntary and open to all pension plan types and all employee groups.
- A university-sector or multi-employer JSPP will be negotiated by the parties that will be joining the plan.
- A university-sector or multi-employer JSPP will receive a more favourable funding regime.
- A university-sector or multi-employer JSPP will include a guaranteed retirement income.
- A university-sector or multi-employer JSPP will be fully funded at inception.
- Under this new equal partnership arrangement, each of the parties involved should have access to the information necessary to make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed.
Our current process represent the first stages of implementing the second principle – that any new plan or JSPP arrangement will be established through a process of negotiation between the parties that will be joining the plan.
To date, eight OCUFA member associations have indicated a desire to participate in this process. There is no deadline for indicating a desire to participate, and member associations will be welcome to join the group at any time.
The group held its first conference call on March 14th, so our work is officially underway. We have begun to develop a work plan to guide us through what will no doubt be a complex process. We look forward to continuing working with associations across Ontario in this next phase of pension discussions.