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General Meeting – September 20, 2008
Palais des congrès de Montréal
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).
                                                                                                               DISCRIMINATION AGAINST
Over a 10-year period, all employees combined
                                                      When it was trying to sell its proposal to
                                                                                                               YOUNG EMPLOYEES
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.


                     OF PLAN

                     39 992 187 $

                                      30 834 208 $

                                                         9 378 145 $

                                                                                              DEFICIT PER

                                                                                              72 $
                                                                                                                                  Syndicat des communications
                                                                                                                                  de Radio-Canada (FNC-CSN)
                                                                                                                                  1411, Amherst, # 301
                                                                                                                                  Montreal (Quebec) H2L 3L2
                                                                                                                                  Tel.: 514 842 4020 1 888 842 4020
       assumption                                                                                                                 scrc@scrc.qc.ca

             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 $

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