OPSEU College Support/Soutien. College Support Full-Time.

CAAT Support Report Newsletter – Issue 7 – March 2014


Message from the Chair

Greetings, CAAT Support Members!

Elections for your provincial committees, including Joint Insurance, Joint Classification, Grievance Scheduling, Pension Sponsor, Pension Trustees (2) and Divisional Executive, will take place at the final demand set meeting scheduled for March 29-30, in Toronto.

These are very important committees and carry a variety of responsibilities. A description of the election process and the roles and responsibilities are explained in this issue of Support Report and will help members and delegates choose whether they are interested in contesting a position. If elected, your responsibilities extend beyond the your local. You will carry the responsibility of representing close to 8,000 members across the province.

I have had the privilege of representing our membership on the divisional executive, the employer- employee relations committee and the bargaining team. In each case I have learned a great deal and enjoyed representing you and your colleagues.

If you are interested in running for any of the committees or would like to learn more about their roles, links have been included in this newsletter. You are also invited to contact the chairs of the various committees for more details. Their contact information can be found on the OPSEU website by following the links to College Support.

Good luck to all of the nominees at this weekend’s meeting.

In Solidarity

Florry Foster
Divisional Executive

Final demand set meeting and elections March 29-30 2014

Elections for your provincial committees are on the agenda for the forthcoming demand set meeting in Toronto. Elections will be held for the following committees: Joint Insurance (JIC), Joint Classification (JCC), Grievance Scheduling (GSC), Pension (Sponsors and Trustees), and Divisional Executive (DivEx).

All standing committee members, chairs and vice chairs shall be elected by a majority (more than fifty (50) per cent) of those present and voting. The DivEx committee and standing committee alternates shall be elected on the basis of plurality and ranked accordingly.

Any member in good standing may stand for election to any standing committee whether or not he/she is a delegate to the final demand set provided there is a nomination received in writing prior to the election.

The nomination must state the name of the committee for which the nominee is standing, the position for which the nominee is standing, and the nominee’s agreement to stand for that position and must be signed and dated by both the nominator and the nominee and in the hands of the person chairing the meeting prior to the election taking place. Nominations for all committees may also come from the floor. A nominee who is eligible but unable to attend the meeting may be a candidate provided that he or she follows the nomination procedure above.

Nominees in attendance shall be provided up to three minutes to address the delegates about their candidacy. Those ineligible/unable to attend may have their speech read by a delegate or alternate attending the meeting.

If you are interested in running for any of the above mentioned committees the election process as well as roles and responsibilities of the committees have been provided to assist you. This information may also assist in writing a speech, should you choose to present one.

Joint Insurance Committee (JIC)

The JIC consists of four members, one of whom shall be elected to be the chairperson and one of whom shall be elected as vice-chair.

The JIC includes equal numbers (4) of members representing OPSEU and the Council. OPSEU reps are additionally supported by an OPSEU benefits officer. In addition, meetings are also attended by representatives of Sun Life.

The committee’s responsibilities are contained in Appendix “A” of our collective agreement. The main responsibilities of the committee are to monitor relevant industry and legislative changes and trends, as well as the financial experience of our various benefits plans (Dental, LTD, Extended Health, etc.), in order to make recommendations to Council regarding premium adjustments, that maintain the solvency and cost effectiveness of our negotiated benefits. In addition, members collect information and make representations regarding member appeals, maintain the benefits booklet, and authorize communications to members on issues and changes affecting their benefits.

The committee caucuses and meets at the Council approximately eight times per year. If you are interested in disability issues and have a keen eye for detail, you may consider running for a position on this committee. For more information on the JIC visit the OPSEU website

Joint Insurance Committee

CAAT Pension Plan Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the administration of the pension plan. The purpose of the CAAT pension plan is to provide a secure retirement income to plan members based upon their pensionable service and earnings that is calculated accurately, paid on a timely basis and funded by stable contribution rates.

The board is made up of 12 trustees, four of the Trustees; two Support and two Academic are appointed by OPSEU, one by OCASA and the last one is appointed on a three-year rotation between OPSEU (Support and Academic) and OCASA. While it is not a requirement of the plan, it is OPSEU policy that a retiree is appointed for this position. The position filled by OPSEU with a retiree from the Support and Academic retirees is done on a rotational basis. The employer through Colleges Ontario, appoints six trustees.

There shall be at least six meetings of the Board of Trustees in each year.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the administration of the plan. There are three board committees: finance and administration, audit and investment. The finance and administration and investment committees are each composed of six trustees, split equally between employer and employee representatives. The audit committee is composed of four trustees, also split equally between employer and employee representatives. The trustees appoint a chair and vice-chair to preside over the board meetings for a period of 18 months. One of these positions is filled by an employee trustee and the other by an employer trustee.

CAAT Pension Plan Sponsors’ Committee

The sponsors’ committee is responsible for approving all plan amendments and for determining when to file actuarial valuations with the pension regulators.

The sponsors’ committee is made up of four employee members which are composed of the following: one support, one academic, one OPSEU staff person and one OCASA appointee, and four employer members who are appointed by Colleges Ontario. The members belong to the three groups that established the plan – Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), Colleges Ontario, acting on behalf of the Boards of Governors of the Colleges, and the Ontario College Administrative Staff Association (OCASA).

The sponsors elect co-chairs, one representing employees and one representing the employers.

The sponsors meet quarterly after the board of trustees conducts its meetings to review and hear from the board of trustees and plan staff, to ensure that the plan is meeting is obligations to the members. The sponsors committee must vote unanimously on all items that come before it. This creates a unique challenge and opportunity whereby the parties must work together to benefit the interests of the plan and its members.

The union trustees and sponsors have quarterly meetings together to address issues that are on their agendas and to determine the best course of action to be taken. Important issues being addressed included the growth strategy and promoting defined benefit pension plans.

Grievance Scheduling Committee (GSC)

The GSC consists of three (3) elected members, one of which shall be elected as the chairperson and one of which shall be elected as vice-chair.

The committee meets the first Friday of every month, except July and August. The committee is a joint committee with faculty, and consists of three support staff and three faculty. A list of grievances to be scheduled is sent to each member by OPSEU with each member having specific colleges to contact to determine what grievances should be scheduled and in what order. The committee determined that they won’t schedule grievances that are more than three years old unless the local specifically asks for a grievance to be scheduled. Some grievances are put on hold when a local wants to delay dealing with that grievance and the committee is working to put grievances that are more than three years old on that list. Any grievance on the “on hold” list can be brought back to the “to be scheduled” list or dropped at the request of the local. The committee works on the premise of blind scheduling. That’s the process of scheduling arbitrators for specific grievances and neither management nor the union know the arbitrator until that particular college comes up.

The committee selects in order of the date the grievance has been received by OPSEU, with personal dismissals then layoffs getting first choice to be scheduled. Each college gets only one grievance per week to schedule, so the committee can only schedule each college up to the maximum weeks that the committee receives from management (typically eight to nine weeks).

The committee tries to keep the number of dates equal for faculty and support staff. Classification grievances for support staff are scheduled on a separate schedule. When management joins the meeting, the committee starts the process of blind scheduling. The arbitration sheet has dates on the left side of the page and management tells the committee whether that date is for support staff, faculty, both, or bilingual. The committee gives the name and OPSEU number of the grievance to be scheduled. Management gives the name of the arbitrator, which is confidential to all committee members until the final schedule comes out with all the accepted dates.

Joint Classification Committee (JCC)

The JCC consists of four (4) elected members, one of which shall be elected as the chairperson and one of which shall be elected as the vice-chair.

The terms of reference for the JCC shall be as negotiated between the union and the employer. The JCC is comprised of an equal number (4) of union and management representatives. Their responsibilities are contained in Appendix “F” of the Support Staff Collective Agreement.

Additional responsibilities of the union members are to maintain the JCC portion of the OPSEU website. This entails adding classification awards, as they become available, and keep the classification award spreadsheet current. The spreadsheet is a synopsis of the awards and is helpful in preparing for classification grievances. The committee members are also responsible for the other resources contained on the website; these may need updating from time to time including the posting of the committee minutes. The committee meets approximately five times a year. This involves caucusing and meeting with the employer. Each committee member is responsible for being the contact person for six of our colleges with regards to classification issues.

For more information about the JCC visit the OPSEU website link below.

JCC Information

Divisional Executive of CAAT Support (DIVEX)

This committee is the political arm representing the issues of support staff across the 24 colleges with the elected leadership of the union and the government. The executive responds to changes in legislation, system wide challenges and organize and lobby on behalf of the members of Support staff.

The committee also links in with locals and our committees to understand and provide advice on province-wide issues.

There are five (5) members elected. Three (3) are elected from the committees as follows: Bargaining Team/ERRC (1), JIC or CAAT Pension plan representatives (1), GSC of JCC (1). The two (2) remaining positions are members elected at large.

The DivEx is the only committee that does not meet with the employer.

Information about the DIVEX can be found on the OPSEU website link below.

Divisional Executive

The contact information for each of the committee members can be found on the OPSEU website as well as the minutes from meetings