New collective agreements reached between the United Steelworkers union and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories will create a multi-employer, multi-union pension plan for employees affected by the privatization of the former Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

About 360 members of USW Local 4096 who work at the CNL research facility in Chalk River, Ont. have ratified three-year collective agreements covering two groups of employees, according to a news release from the union. The facility had operated for decades as a Crown corporation before the federal government decided to privatize it and close the defined benefit pension plan to affected employees.

“Employees that were hired prior to Sept. 13, 2015 are going to stay in until Sept. 12, 2018,” says David Lipton, the union’s staff representative. “And any employees who were hired after that date are not allowed to join it at all.”

Read: U.S. Steel Canada acquisition is ‘best opportunity’ for the company and retirees

These employees will go into the new multi-employer plan, known as the Canadian Energy and Related Industries Pension Plan, which will be overseen by trustees from participating unions. Staff will contribute nine per cent of earnings to the plan with a nine per cent employer match. “In other words, the contribution levels are at the maximum … under the Income Tax Act,” says Lipton.

The new collective agreements also include several changes to contract language to protect employee rights and benefits. “There were a number of areas in the contract – actually, I counted 31 of them – where certain employee rights and benefits, things in the nature of bereavement leave, jury duty, marriage leave, sick leave, where they made reference to company policies. So we put in a contract provision that, if the employer conducts any policy reviews, it can’t do so in a way that would impede the benefits of any of the employees.”

The two agreements, one for office and clerical employees and the other for utility employees, also include salary increases. The former provides wage progressions of two per cent each year, while the contract for utility workers provides total wage increases of 4.5 per cent over three years, additional increases for senior contamination monitors and a lump-sum payment of $600.

The boards of directors of the Canadian National Energy Alliance and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories are expected to ratify the pension plan by Nov. 15.

Read: Better days ahead for multi-employer pension plans

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

Join us on Twitter

See all comments Recent Comments

Gerry Goddard:

I’m interested in obtaining info on the 10 largest private salaried defined benefit pension funds in Canada and their current solvency levels

Tuesday, November 08 at 3:40 pm | Reply

Add a comment

Have your say on this topic! Comments that are thought to be disrespectful or offensive may be removed by our Benefits Canada admins. Thanks!

* These fields are required.
Field required
Field required
Field required
Cancel Reply