General Meeting – September 20, 2008
Palais des congrès de Montréal
THE SO-CALLED “HISTORIC AGREEMENT”:
MORE BILLS TO PAY, NO MONEY IN OUR POCKETS
In the middle of June, the CBC unleashed a That deal is to be renegotiated in 2019 but it is
unlikely that it will be possible to backtrack at that
AGREEMENT ON PENSION PLAN LESS PURCHASING POWER FOR EVERYONE
virtual ﬂood of propaganda directed against
the SCRC via GroupWise mail and its iO! portal. point. If we accept the CBC’s current assumption The CBC is proposing that participants in the Giving up 0.1% of salary every year may
That constitutes interference in our internal that health care costs will increase by 7% per pension plan (current employees and pensioners) appear to be a minor concession but it adds up.
affairs by the employer, which is an unfair year, the Corporation will be paying only half the pocket half of any available surplus and the The 0.1% would be compounded yearly, so it
practice that is prohibited under section 94 bill by 2037. If costs increase by 8%, that thre- employer the other half. What is an available would come to 1.234% by 2019 (see Appendix 2
of the Canada Labour Code. shold will be crossed by 2029. If the increase is surplus? Anything in excess of a funding ratio of the CBC’s document on the union’s website,
10%, the CBC’s share of the costs will be cut to of 105%, after the CBC has taken back any www.scrc.qc.ca). An employee making $60,000
The thing that most upsets the CBC is that 50% in just 13 years, i.e. by 2021. contribution it has made to cover past deﬁcits, today would be losing $740 by 2019. Further-
we dared to give our members the facts and
with interest (such as the $11 million deﬁcit two more, his or her future pension income, which
refused to sign, on their behalf, an agreement
years ago). Another condition in the proposal is is based on the best ﬁve years, would be redu-
concocted in secret and without debate. We are WHO WILL PAY THE DEFICIT? WE WILL! that employees’ share of the surplus may not ced accordingly.
a democratic organization and we will continue
The Corporation’s propaganda is circumspect exceed the employer’s estimated contribution
to reject the CBC’s code of silence, whether Here are a few examples of the cumulative effect
about the portion of health plan costs that will for the year in question. For example, this year
management likes it or not. of giving up 0.1% per year:
not be covered. The text says only that each the employer’s projected contribution is approxi-
Some leaders of other unions took the CBC’s spring, the unions and the employer will take mately $53 million for current service; our share
bait. They are in a different position than we are; measures to prevent the increase in the emplo- of the surplus would therefore be limited to this
they are also bargaining with the CBC over other
issues and, in the case of CUPE, the Association
yer’s contribution from exceeding a certain amount, even if the fund had a $616 million
surplus as in 1999.
LOST INCOME OVER 10 YEARS
ceiling. Clearly, what this means is that
des Réalisateurs and the APS, they are negotia- employees will have to decide whether to We are not opposed in principle to an agreement
(2010-2019) CURRENT REDUCTION
ting a new collective agreement as well. Their increase their contribution to save the plan SALARY
reasons are their business and not ours. What to settle the longstanding dispute between the
or reduce their health coverage. unions and the CBC on pension fund surpluses.
we do know is that there is nothing in the CBC’s Assistant 56 252$ 4 653$
proposal for our members except bills. The supposed “historic agreement” calls for However, we are not prepared to link this issue
the increase in the employer’s contribution to to health insurance. Since the CBC is trying to Media
be capped at 4.5% per year (under the current get us to pay part of the bill by dangling the librarian
OVERVIEW OF THE DEAL assumption) and for employees to contribute prospect of payouts from the pension plan Caption editor
The CBC wants employees to cover a growing $9.3 million by 2019. Will there be enough surplus before our eyes, we must ask the follo-
portion of the cost of the Great West supplemen- money? We don’t think so. wing question: are we really likely to see any Journalist 64 138 $ 5 305$
tary health insurance plan (for prescription drugs, Over the past 10 years, the cost of the plan money from the surplus? Our analysis concludes Journalist-
ambulances, semi-private hospital rooms, para- that the answer is no. Here is why. researcher
has increased by an average 6.5% per year.
medical services, prostheses, and so forth), whe- The CBC’s proposal assumes a 7% annual Com. ofﬁcer
reas under our collective agreement the employer increase over the next 10 years, but as recently
has always paid the full cost of the plan. as May 2008 the negotiators were basing them- DON’T EXPECT A CHEQUE ANY TIME SOON Nat. assignment
or desk editor
82 442$ 6 819$
In return, the employer is offering to end the selves on an 8% increase, which is also the
The happy days of actuarial surpluses during the
quarrel over the pension plan surplus and is pro- assumption made by Mercer, the CBC’s consul- Foreign
bull market that ended in 2002 are a thing of the
tants. What we know for certain is that health correspondent
mising to share future surpluses 50/50. The pro- past. Sixty percent of the pension fund’s assets
costs have been spiralling due to higher drug
blem is that our experts tell us that there proba- are now cautiously invested in low-yield securi-
prices, the aging work force, higher levels of
bly won’t be anything to share in the foreseeable ties such as treasury bills and bonds.
stress and occupational disease, and so forth.
future, given the economic environment and the And this at a time when general inﬂation has In effect, employees would be paying twice.
investment choices made by the fund managers. On June 11, we received the pension fund
been at historic lows. Recent price increases When we negotiated our fringe beneﬁts,
trustees’ report for the year 2007. It shows that
force us to consider more cautious assumptions, we made a trade-off, relinquishing wage
the fund achieved only a 2.7% rate of return.
HEALTH INSURANCE: such as a 10% annual increase in health costs. That’s a far cry from the 5% return that would
increases. For example, in 2002, we gave up a
1% (cumulative) salary increase in exchange for a
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST US? be required before anything whatsoever could
dental plan. Why should we have to fork out again
The CBC is demanding that union members ONLY TWO ALTERNATIVES: be shared under the CBC’s proposal. With
surging oil prices, the real estate credit crunch,
for something we have already paid for once?
relinquish a portion of their negotiated wage REDUCED BENEFITS OR HIGHER renewed inﬂation, and an economic downturn in So we throw the question back to our critics:
increases equal to 0.1% of salary per year for
10 years to cover some of the increase in health
EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS the Western world, it seems quite unlikely that a why should we sign an agreement that gives us
pension fund that needs to cover a ﬂood of new nothing except bills?
plan costs. The concessions on the part of union The following table shows three cost assump-
pensioners will be generating any surpluses.
members would be cumulative; therefore, by tions: a 7% annual increase (the assumption
2019, employees will be paying $9.3 million made in the agreement we are rejecting),
per year, compared with nil today, which comes
to $1,084 per employee per year by 2019.
8% (the ﬁgure used in the negotiations one
month ago) and 10% (the conservative ﬁgure).
Over a 10-year period, all employees combined
When it was trying to sell its proposal to
will have paid more than $46 million out of their
pockets, or an average of $5,428 each. employees, the CBC chose the least likely In the unlikely event that there were any surplus
assumption: that inﬂation will remain at the to share, the cheques sent to employees would
level of the past 10 years. We believe, however, be proportionate to their past contributions to the
OFFLOADING HEALTH CARE that inﬂation is likely to rise and that there will pension fund. That means negligible cheques for
be deﬁcits, for which the employer will no
COSTS ONTO EMPLOYEES longer be responsible.
young employees, who on the other hand will be
required to pay health care bills that are guaran-
At present, the CBC covers 100% of the cost of teed to grow steadily.
the health insurance plan. According to the
CBC’s own estimates (which are based on a 7%
annual increase in health care costs), the portion
paid by employees will increase from 0%
to 23.4% by 2019.
SUPPLEMENTARY HEALTH PLAN DEFICIT IN 2019
39 992 187 $
30 834 208 $
9 378 145 $
Syndicat des communications
de Radio-Canada (FNC-CSN)
1411, Amherst, # 301
Montreal (Quebec) H2L 3L2
Tel.: 514 842 4020 1 888 842 4020
8% 44 301 141 $ 30 834 208 $ 9 378 145 $ - 20 064 065 $ - 2 320 $
10% 54 209 217 $ 30 834 208 $ 9 378 145 $ - 65 800 054 $ - 7 607 $