October 14, 2020 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is a summary of the October General Meeting.

Presentation on the Municipal Pension Plan (MPP) changes
Presented by Karl Fultz.

It has been over 50 years since the plan has been reviewed and so the Pension board asked plan partners to do a comprehensive review of the plan. The plan partners have done this, guided by the following principles:

  • improving equity for members,
  • aligning benefits with how the majority of members use them,
  • setting a strong foundation for the long-term sustainability of the plan

Improve the Lifetime Pension

The proposed changes will result in an improved lifetime pension for the majority of members. For general membership, this benefit improvement is funded in part by the reduction of early retirement subsidies and the elimination of the temporary bridge benefit (for Group 1 only – CUPE 4879 members are in this group) on service earned after January 1, 2022.

Do away with the two tier tiered system of contribution

Currently members contribute to the pension at two different rates. One is based on their earnings up to the YMPE (year’s maximum pensionable earnings) and the other is based on earnings above the YMPE. YMPE is an amount set by the federal government for purposes of determining maximum annual contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (in 2020, it is $58,700). Upon retirement, members’ pensions are likewise calculated using two accrual rates. One is based on their highest average earnings up to the YMPE and the other is based on the highest average earnings above the YMPE. It is proposed that going forward from January 1, 2022, all members will contribute at a single contribution rate for all earnings and will receive the same proportional benefit, calculated using a flat rate on all highest average earnings. It is important to note that contribution rates between groups vary. Plan partners believe this is a more equitable way of managing contribution and benefit accrual rates for future service.

Plan for Long-Term Financial Sustainability

Plan partners are working to improve the long-term sustainability of the plan by stabilizing contribution rates, strengthening inflation protection to support cost of living adjustments (COLA) over the long-term, and introducing a new health benefit trust to further support retiree benefits. 

For more information visit


Members were also encouraged to sign up for a relevant MPP webinar.  This is not to answer personal questions about your pension but rather to answer general questions about the changes and how they may affect you.
Attached is the invitation to MPP Redesign Web Info Sessions including a date specifically for the Post Secondary Sector. Thursday October 22nd, 5 to 6pm.  See attachment to register.
BCFED 2020


The BC Federation of Labour will hold the 59th constitutional convention on November 24, 25 and 26, 2020.

Because of the continuing pandemic, this will be the first entirely virtual convention in the BC Fed’s history.

A Motion was passed to send the our alloted 6 delegates including President and 5 delegates (with preference given to the 4879 Executive) and one alternate.

Elected along with President Lois Rugg were Karl Fultz, Melissa Schuurman, Cindy Ozouf, Linda Fleck.  There is one vacancy and the Executive will seek interested persons to fill it.

CUPE National Post-secondary Sector Conference October 21, 2020

CUPE 4879 will be sending 4 delegates to this conference virtually which includes the President, Lois Rugg and Karl Fultz, Cindy Ozouf and Melissa Schuurman.  This conference is held in alternate years to the National Convention and brings together CUPE leaders from across the country in all sectors including the Post Secondary Sector.  The conference was budgeted for but will cost substantially less due to no travel expenses. The delegates look forward to attending the first virtual sector conference and will be reporting back to the membership.  Normally a two day meeting plus travel, this will now be a ½ day conference held on Wednesday October 21st.

Drive through for your CUPE 4879 COVID Kits

The Executive will be “cool” in the fall weather, rain or shine wearing our CUPE 4879 masks to deliver your CUPE 4879 COVID kits to you.  We are planning the drive through on Monday October 26th from 10am to 1pm.  You will find us located at the round about near the House of Learning.  Plan to drive, bike or walk through.  We will be practising safe physical distancing and we look forward to seeing many of you in person on this day.

Updates on layoffs and early retirement

Lois reported that although the result of impending layoff notices was better than anticipated sadly there were still several members that were adversely affected.  As a result of the COVID pandemic, 79 layoff notices were issued in June with an additional 29 notices in anticipation of senior persons exercising their bumping options.  In the end there were 14 people who were laid off with options to take recall or change their status to auxiliary.  2 members chose severance.  16 members chose to accept a temporary leave. The union still considers the temporary leave a lay off and it may affect other members if those on temporary leave choose to bump when their leaves have ended.  12 persons in total bumped into a junior positions, 18 people accepted reduced hours (hours were reduced by 15%). 26 notices at the time of the report were officially rescinded. There were also several people who had received notice that posted into vacant positions and a few that have been temporarily reassigned.  There are many more members who have been affected overall due to the pandemic including temporary contracts that have not been renewed, auxiliary members not currently being given assignments, fewer vacancies being posted or available, fewer co-op students being hired on campus and reduction in work study students in most areas on campus.

The Union recognizes that regardless of the results that all members have been affected by the pandemic and in particular those given layoffs and notices.  It was a long stressful summer for many while people had to await their fate.

The early retirement incentive was good news for many that have been considering retiring and for some it has presented an opportunity to retire sooner than planned.  At the time of this report there were 48 members who put forward their interest to Human Resources to consider the ERIP.  Members have been meeting with HR to look at what their personal retirement plan may look like.  We believe that there will be close to 100 persons across campus and constituents that will be taking advantage of the ERIP.  The reality is that some positons being vacated will be made redundant, however the Union holds out some hope that some positions will need to be filled sooner than later.  The ERIP is a short term money saving plan for TRU and some vacancies will not be filled immediately or they may consider restructuring the work and how it is produced.

Although the Union is happy for members who are able to retire we will miss everyone immensely.  A reminder for those retiring to let the CUPE office know so we can get our retirement gifts and appreciation to you for your service and wishes for a well deserved retirement.

CUPE4879 Hardship Fund.

The money for this fund was voted on at the September budget meeting and has been created knowing that the Pandemic has put some of our members into a crisis situation.  Documents on who is eligible and how to apply are attached.  For more information  contact Connie at cupe4879@shaw.ca.  The money granted will be $100 per request.  Applicants will need to demonstrate their financial need and will be vetted through our CUPE administration office and then approved by the Executive. Names of persons who apply will be held in confidence. Members can apply for the fund from now until June 30th.

Door Prizes

People who attended the general meeting had their names entered for door prizes.  And the winners are…Meghan Hayre and Rien Okawa who each won $25 “Turkey” GC) and the $20 door prizes winners were Karl Fultz and Teresa Dickmeyer.  Congrats to all J

Next Meeting

Reminder the Next General Meeting in November and will be the Nomination Meeting.  A list of positions up for election will be made available soon.  If an election is needed for those positions that will take place at our January General Meeting.  Also note that the usual day of the GM falls on November 11th a stat holiday so the Executive will have to look at alternate available dates and will provide notice when a decision has been made.

Please stay safe everyone.  If you need support do not hesitate to reach out to members of our executive.