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CBC pension and benefits deal: it’s fair, inclusive and unique

You will have the opportunity to vote next week on ratifying an historic deal reached between the unions, the pensioners’ association and the CBC. The deal ensures:

? Fair distribution of any future pension surpluses
? Protection of the CBC Defined Benefit Pension Plan
? Ensuring the continuation of high quality health benefits

The deal guarantees the continuation of the Defined Pension Plan. It further guarantees that where a surplus exists in the plan it will be shared equally. In other words when the employer receives a dollar, employees and pensioners will also receive a dollar. And finally, the agreement provides for a consistent level of funding for benefits by the CBC and for the creation of a health fund in the event costs exceed normally annual funding.


Unfortunately, pension and health benefits are not a right for all workers. Many Canadian workers receive neither. Your rights at CBC have been negotiated over many decades. But they are facing regular assaults from the economy and from various levels of government.

Most CBC employees are fortunate to be part of a defined benefit plan ? a plan that guarantees a known level of income on retirement with an annual cost of living increase. Fewer than 10% of workers in this country have anything similar.

The new deal with CBC goes one step further. While the purpose of a pension plan is to guarantee retirement income, our plan has done very well in recent years and has generated surpluses. A unique element of this deal requires that any future surpluses be shared equally on a 50-50 basis between the employer and the plan members. We are aware of no other defined benefit plan where such an arrangement exists.


The rising cost of health care benefits is a serious concern to virtually every employer in North America. Some have eliminated various types of benefits, set individual spending limits, denied benefits altogether or taken other draconian steps. The costs are real and driven by new therapies and drugs and by the off-loading of costs from provincial governments. The rising cost of benefits at CBC is partially funded by Treasury Board. But that increase is limited (most recently in the 2 to 3% per year range). Any additional costs are covered out of CBC’s operating money, money that would normally go to programming or other broadcast services. The Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits (CCSB) attempts to control costs, ensures that employees aren’t overly burdened by unexpected high costs and that the best possible range of coverage is provided.

The deal reached between the unions and the CBC on health benefits has two elements:

? CBC will pay at least Treasury Board rate plus 2% for benefits (no less than 4%) each year, and
? Employees will devote 0.1% of annual wage increases, beginning in 2010, to create and build a special fund to cover additional health benefit costs. This is only contribution employees will be asked to make.

We believe these contributions, along with responsible management of the benefit plan, will ensure the continuation of the high level of CBC health benefits.


Guild members will vote on this historic deal between September 26 and 30 via the internet. We strongly recommend you vote yes: yes to surplus sharing and yes to maintaining a high standard of health care benefits. Details of the formal agreement can be obtained at LINK. If you have questions please email them to us at info@cmg.ca or call 1-800-465-4149.

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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