June 2012 Update

TWU Retirees – BCARTW and Local R55 Update

Pension Increase

Despite a strong case advanced by members of local R55 Executive on behalf of the retirees, the Pension Trustees met in December 2011 and determined that there would not be a pension increase in 2012. Although the TWPP has a surplus of funds, the trustees decided that this surplus was not enough to fund an increase to retired members. At the same time, the trustees approved an update for active members to January 1, 2011. It is the intent of the trustees to do an annual review of the financial position of the plan with the first priority for any surplus funds to be updates for active members and then approval of early retirements at age 55 with 25 years of credited service. The trustees will consider an increase for retirees once the above two benefits for active members are approved and if they are satisfied that there are sufficient surplus funds remaining.

TWU Local R55

Local R55 gives the retirees a legal vehicle to put forward resolutions that affect the TWPP to the TWU Convention. The delegates are able to run for the position of pension trustee, to vote on issues affecting retirees, to vote in elections for pension trustee, and to vote for the positions of President and Secretary-Treasurer of the TWU, since those positions are ex officio pension trustees. Since the formation of the B.C. Association of Retired Telephone Workers (BCARTW), it has been successful in promoting changes to the TWU Constitution that will work in the best interests of both active and retired members of the TWPP. Once a resolution is approved at the Convention, the entire TWU membership is entitled to vote on the new Constitution language. An example of a change that the retirees were responsible in having brought up at the Convention involves the election of Pension Trustees. The President and Secretary-Treasurer positions of the TWU were trustees of the pension plan by virtue of their office. A Constitutional change was made to ensure that should one or both of the successful candidates to these positions not be members of the TWPP, the pension trustee position(s) would be open to nominations from the floor of Convention. The result is that only TWPP members are entitled to be elected as pension trustees.

Membership in Local R55

At this time there are over 600 members of TWU local R55. This is about half of the BCARTW membership. This entitles local R55 to seat four delegates at the TWU Convention. We need 700 members in order to have five delegates. The maximum number of delegates that the retirees’ local is permitted at the convention is six and that would require 900+ members. We are encouraging all members of the BCARTW to also join the TWU retirees’ local. This will not cost you any additional money for dues; the BCARTW pays the $1.00 initiation fee and the $1.00 per year dues to the TWU on your behalf. You will find an application form on our website www.bcartw.ca, or you can call toll free 1-888-898-5755.

BC Association of Retired Telecommunication Workers