Loyalist College janitors’ new contract includes pension, sick days

Custodial and maintenance workers at Toronto Metropolitan University represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees are striking after university administration failed to address the rising cost of living and issues with increased employee contributions to the defined benefit pension plan during negotiations.

In 2021, the university unilaterally imposed an increase in pension contributions on all employees, according to a press release, which noted the school’s faculty association challenged the increase and an independent arbitrator found the university had violated their collective agreement.

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In DB pension plans, employers are responsible for shortfalls unless higher contribution rates are negotiated for workers. Because of the arbitration ruling, the university corrected the rates, but for faculty only, said the release.

“This results in an inequitable plan, where maintenance and custodial workers are paying more than faculty for the same benefit,” said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario, in the release. “All these workers have been asking for is the same thing that already exists for faculty. It’s the fair thing to do.”

The two sides have been in negotiations since September 2022 and the maintenance and custodial workers are still seeking pension bargaining rights equivalent to those contained in the faculty association collective agreement.

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