After a long year of negotiating with Bell, your Unifor ACL Bargaining team is confident that we are bringing back a strong tentative agreement and are recommending acceptance.
The most important story of this last round of negotiations is certainly, the ability of the Unifor ACL Bargaining Committee to revert the plans of the company with regards to the transformation of your respective pension plans.
To be specific, the Bell Aliant Defined Benefit (DB) and the Defined Contribution (DC) Pension Plans will remain unchanged, as per Appendix R(Letter of Agreement) of the current Collective Agreement. These plans will not be harmonized with the Bell Canada Pension Plans as stated on March 29th,2016 in an email from Eleanor Marshall.
For our Defined Contribution Pensioners, this means that the level of mandatory contributions to your pension plan will remain at 6% of both you and the employer. Additionally, you will continue to have the ability to retire with 50 years of age.
For our Defined Benefits Pensioners, their eligibility to their full pension remains unchanged. Every DB member will continue to be able to retire as per the normal conditions that have existed at Bell Aliant for over a decade. They are:
· AGE 55 / 30 YEARS OF SERVICE; 85 POINTS (AGE + SERVICE)
· AGE 60 / 20 YEARS OF SERVICE; 80 POINTS (AGE + SERVICE)
· AGE 65
The concept of early retirement with automatic consent, which can be attained by meeting the following criteria:
· 30 YEARS OF SERVICE
· 55 YEARS OF AGE/25 YEARS OF SERVICE
· 60 YEARS OF AGE/15 YEARS OF SERVICE.
Will be discontinued as previously communicated by the company.
This practice will be replaced with “consent as per business need” starting July 1st.2018
To be clear the language has not changed. However, Bell has indicated that they will no longer give automatic consent. The Unifor ACL Bargaining Team has obtained a commitment from the company to look at each request and to make the decision on a business case for not granting consent.
If any member does not obtain consent, please bring it to your local and we will address it with the company. A business case could be that they don’t have the resourced to replace the individual. If this is the reason, then the UACL will be requesting they post the position and train a replacement. This may delay an early retirement request by 6-12 months but there should be a reasonable timeframe on this.
If the company fails to post and train a replacement, then the UACL will grieve the decision.
Your Bargaining Committee,
National Rep Roch Leblanc