First Vice Presidents AGM Report
Another hot dry summer has quickly passed us by. I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer. It is a great time to be with family and friends and maybe even cross a few things off your “bucket list”. As I write my report the Blue Jays are just about to play Cleveland for the American League Championship and by the time you read this they could be World Series Champs. This summer, along with the hot pavement, has kept us hopping in the Union office.
We continue to have regular Committee meetings with the YUSA Job Evaluation raters with the help of Sandy Bell and the Co-Chairs Mary Polesel and Wanda Hollingshead. These meetings are something that I am very happy to say are going on a consistent basis. It is important that all our raters are on the ‘same page’ and we have got some really great feedback from the raters when we discussed the various issues that have cropped up while rating questionnaires, temporary assignments, and significant change forms. The job-e raters tell me they feel more empowered in the rating room.
You might consider going through significant change and doing a job-e questionnaire because your job duties and/or responsibilities have changed. If so, I strongly suggest you contact me or a rater to provide assistance so that you can put your best effort forward. Of course, you are the expert on your position, but an experienced rater can offer suggestions that can aid you in this task. They might even help you determine if you should go forward with the process or not. During our job-e Lunch and Learn sessions, that we have held this year, quite a few individuals have let me know that their manger may have mistakenly advised them on how to do, or what they can say, in their questionnaires. Doing a questionnaire requires a fair bit of work but it is time very well spent. As not all workers are able to partake in a joint evaluation of their position that will determine their salary. The ratings of the questionnaires are up to date with very few in the queue.
I have been actively working on getting our appeals on track in 2016. There is a backlog that goes back a number of years and to get the process moving I have identified with the employer; the status of each appeal, the factors that are being appealed (for the appeals next in line in the queue), and have sent the YUSA rationale for quite a few of these appeals. We are constrained by the fact that the appeals are a multistep back-and-forth process with the employer. It requires both parties input for it to go forward. The employer is behind in the review of, and their rationales for the appeals but I have informed them that this must be a priority. I have notified the employer that we are going to set up regular appeal rating dates, as is done for the questionnaire ratings. I do apologise to those who are waiting for the rating or their appeal.
Currently, we are bargaining the YUSA Unit 2 Collective Agreement. Due to Unit 2 going through the Pay Equity exercise this Collective Agreement has not been thoroughly updated in quite a few years. This is always a time consuming process, but we need to ensure that our Unit 2 part-time and interim (YUTA) employees are well represented at the bargaining table. As always there are a number of issues on the table and I ask you to show support to your YUSA Unit 2 co-workers as they fight for a better agreement with our employer.
As a pension board of Trustee representing YUSA, I will report on some basic stats of our pension plan. The plan has assets of over $2.2 billion. In the first half of 2016 the fund had a gross return of 1.8% (1.6% net) with the low Canadian dollar having a negative impact on our foreign investments. The gross return for 2015 was 9.5% (net), and 2014 was 13.8% (net). Total employee contributions to the fund in 2016 are expected to be $33.7 million. While York University will contribute $33.9 million. York will also add an additional $15.2 million towards the minimum guaranteed pension and additional special payments required to fund the deficit. As a reminder, and if you are planning to retire in the next while, YUSA provides for free a financial advisor to help you with your retirement and pension decisions. If you are interested, please contact the Union office.
Thank you for your continued support.