B.C. CUPE members vote to join Municipal Pension Plan

Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 561 in Coquitlam, B.C., have voted to transfer active employees from the School District No. 43 non-teaching pension plan into the British Columbia Municipal Pension Plan.

Terms of the deal include a four per cent wage increase to cover the difference in pension contributions between the two plans. In the non-teaching plan, members must contribute 4.9 per cent on earnings up to the year’s maximum pensionable earnings threshold and 6.6 per cent on amounts above that, according to Susan Zander, a national servicing representative for CUPE. In the B.C. municipal plan, members must contribute 8.5 per cent on the first $55,900 and 10 per cent on amounts above that.

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“The whole concept [of the wage increase] was being no worse off from going over to the plan, for the members of the [non-teaching pension plan],” she says.

Other terms included full recognition in the municipal plan of all prior service in the non-teaching plan and a guarantee of being no worse off for plan members who retire within five years of the transfer.

The School District No. 43 Board of Education has also ratified the agreement, as has the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association on behalf of the provincial government.

In the meantime, the Municipal Pension Plan board will meet in May and vote whether or not to accept the agreement.

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