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Time to vote on deal on pension surplus and health benefits at CBC

Members of the Canadian Media Guild at CBC will soon have the opportunity to vote on a deal reached in June between CBC management and all but one of the unions to share future pension surpluses and finance our health care benefits. The Guild’s ratification vote will happen online September 26-30.

“It is a good deal for employees because it creates a very clear formula for sharing future pension surpluses and puts an end to years of expensive legal wrangles on the issue,” says the Guild’s CBC branch president, Marc-Philippe Laurin. “What’s more, it guarantees a fair method of paying for the rising costs of health care benefits and ensures the continued viability of those benefits.”

Click here to read about why it’s a good deal.

Pension plan members (ie. contributing employees and pensioners) will share a dollar, in the form of lump-sum payment, for every dollar that the Corporation takes in contribution holiday when there is a surplus. The pension plan cannot be touched until the fund is worth more than 105% of what it needs to be to cover its obligations to plan members. As well, CBC management will be responsible for funding plan deficits and will be able to use subsequent surpluses for that purpose.

On the health benefits side of the deal, employees will devote 0.1% of annual wage increases, for ten years beginning in 2010, to a fund to help pay for the rising costs of those benefits. For its part, CBC management is committing to increase its funding for benefits by at least 4% per year and to maintain the current level of all benefits.

“Our defined-benefit pension plan will be in shape to weather any financial storms in the future, and the health benefits we fought for over many years are protected,” Laurin points out. “Now we will be able to focus on other important priorities during the coming round of negotiations for a new collective agreement.”

Click here to read the full text of the agreement.

More information on the deal is available at www.cmg.ca/CBCPensionBenefitsFAQ08EN.pdf.

All of the unions involved in the deal are holding ratification votes this month. Any member of the Guild’s bargaining unit at CBC ? including temporary employees and freelancers – has a right to vote. To participate in the online vote, you will need your nine-digit Guild identification number, which can be found on your Guild wallet card. If you don’t have your number, please contact us at vote2008@cmg.ca to request it.

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