Feb. 14, 2018

To All Members of the Carleton Community,

The executive of CUPE 2424 has announced to its members its decision to request a “no-board” report. Their decision follows the 18th day of bargaining on Feb. 12, 2018. For the last five days of bargaining, the parties were assisted by a conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour.

During the process, either party may request a no-board report from the conciliator when the parties reach an impasse and there appears to be no reasonable prospect of settlement.

Once filed with the Ministry of Labour, the no-board report triggers a 17-day period before any legal strike action may begin.

The university and the union have made significant progress, including agreement on more than 20 improvements to the collective agreement. Additionally, the university has tabled increases to wages and benefits. The union advised the university that the parties have reached an impasse over pension.

The university explained at the bargaining table that it is not demanding a pension concession from the union, but is ensuring consistent language as it would be unfair to treat one group of plan members differently from another. The university is not proposing any change to the pension plan and remains committed to longstanding governance practices that have ensured Carleton’s retirement plan is strong and will remain stable and sustainable into the future.

The university advised the union at the bargaining table that the benefits all plan members receive under the retirement plan are the result of the diligent work of the pension committee over many decades. The pension committee operates within the framework established under the Carleton University Retirement Plan text. Members of the retirement plan may request the plan text from the Pension Fund Management Office (https://carleton.ca/pfm/).

The university’s focus at bargaining is to harmonize language in the collective agreement to reflect the current practice of a collaborative approach to administering the pension plan.

This approach relies upon a pension committee that is dominated by employee representatives, including a representative chosen by CUPE 2424, and ensures that no one employee group can withhold agreement on decisions that are in the best interest of all plan members.

The university offered a solution that would allow the union to preserve any pre-existing legal rights; however, the union is seeking to maintain a proposal that would alter the governance of the pension plan and we cannot privilege one group over another.

Although no further bargaining meetings are scheduled at this time, the university remains committed to resolving this matter with CUPE 2424 and reaching a negotiated settlement.


Rob Thomas
Assistant Vice-President (Human Resources)