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Bylaw changes could threaten equal representation for unions at OMERS

On Monday, November 4, the OPSEU Pension Liaison Committee (PLC) met with the sponsors of the other unions and associations that comprise the employees’ representatives on the OMERS Sponsors Corporation Board of Directors (SC board). This was the first meeting of the Employee Sponsors of OMERS Caucus (ESOC). 

ESOC is dedicated to monitoring the actions of the SC board and the OMERS Administration Corporation (AC board), and ensuring that the voice of the sponsors is valued as an equal partner in OMERS.

This first meeting was held to discuss a significant motion that will have fundamental and severe consequences on the equal participation of sponsors on the SC board. The motion is to be debated by the SC board at its next meeting on November 14.

The Corporate Governance Committee has tabled proposed bylaw changes that would cause the following:

  1. Allow the Corporate Governance Committee the right to veto a sponsors’ choice of sponsor representative if they felt the candidate was unqualified. They also want the sponsor candidates to have an extensive background of skills in an attempt to move towards a “professional board,” which OPSEU and other unions have opposed.
  2. Eliminate the right of a sponsor to remove their rep if they were dissatisfied with performance.
  3. Allow the board to deem all subjects confidential and preclude the sponsors from knowing about things such as bylaw changes until after they have been adopted.
  4. Move from the current practice of having an employee co-chair and employer co-chair, to a single co-chair model.
  5. Establish term limits of three three-year terms.
  6. Remove the requirement that committees have equal employee-employer representation.

The consensus opinion was that all sponsor groups present had serious concerns with the changes.

There was also an agreement from all of the employee groups at the meeting that we would submit a joint letter demanding that the vote be postponed until the sponsors group had more time to analyze the proposal and obtain more information about the rationale for the changes, as well as any opinions or advice that was relied upon to come to these conclusions.

Click here to read the letter.

What can you do to help?

Take a moment to send an email to the OMERS SC Board of Directors to let them know we oppose these changes.

Get involved now. Protect your OMERS pension plan!