Changes to Retiree Benefits continued
In a previous post I shared what I would do in two situations in regard to how these changes could/would impact me. I mentioned how I would consider a grievance if I felt that I had to retire this year in order to protect myself against an unfair and unwarranted cost associated with Retirement Benefits.
In order to expand upon that I have prepared two sample grievances that I would choose from for a retirement as of November 30, 2016 scenario.
One is relative to asking to be reinstated in my position at the time I left the OPS should the grievance be upheld – with no penalty or financial losses to me as a result of being forced to make a decision I should not have been required to consider.
The other is in regard to being reimbursed for losses incurred by making that forced decision, specifically in relation to the difference in income from a pension and a full-time pay situation. For the second version of the grievance I would endeavour to show to an arbitrator when I would have retired given a “free choice” with no penalties or financial constraints, and ask to have that pay differential to make me whole, up to that date.
I would submit the appropriate grievance on my last day of work, as it is at that time, that I will be committed to leaving and thereby impacted by this unfair, unwarranted unilateral change that is being forced upon us. I am at that point being impacted by the imposed changes.
These documents were prepared by myself, while drawing upon what I have learned during the many years I have been an OPSEU member, watching others, reading decisions handed down and using the sources of information available to us in our Collective Agreement and the postings shared by OPSEU corporate. At this time I know of no other grievance language options that have been made available and I have felt that something must be considered as an option before the time for submitting has passed.
If by chance there is a more fulsome and accurate example of language to pursue justice for this attack on our earned benefit, there is nothing that prevents anyone from using that wording instead of either of these examples. If the time has not yet passed for submitting the grievance, I could use that new option and any submission of these choices can be withdrawn. But I would make sure that I have something in on time rather than wait for what may not come.
A word of caution here. This is just what I would do. It is up to each individual to decide for themselves what to do, what to submit and pursue, as they seek fairness. I am not advising that anyone take the same steps I would – but merely showing that options and situations may exist that could be explored to help your personal decision making process. Everyone is entitled to know about what options exist.
Now for those who are staying past December 31st, 2016, as am I, there is a different grievance situation that exists. That situation is based on the fact that you will know by January 1st, 2017 if meaningful change has occurred to the mitigate the concerns you may have in regard to Retiree Benefits, or it is still the same as proposed.
If there is no change or negotiated settlement, then in early January you will know at that time that you will be negatively impacted because you chose to continue a career of service to the people of Ontario – on behalf of the employer – and that such knowledge triggers the right to grieve. It is necessary to have that understanding that you will then be impacted going forward in order to file a grievance.
As shared in the situation above, I have come up with a sample of the grievance that I will file on January 3rd, 2017 if there is still no change to the plan imposed upon us. I will remind you again, I am not advocating for anyone to do as I do, but I am giving everyone a tool to help address this matter should any of you feel it necessary to take a step to try to correct this injustice. There may be better language shared at a later date which could be helpful, but until that happens, I will be using this version to address my concern with what is expected to happen.
There is little time for those who will be leaving on or before November 30, 2016 to make a decision on what to do. All I can say is that you should be prepared to act at the appropriate time should you decide to make an effort to address this major challenge to your entitlements.
As for those who will be staying on, there is more time available to reflect on what you want to do, but it may be necessary to have everything in order to act on your decision, as there may be some time required to prepare any paperwork for submission.
This message is not meant exclusively for members of OPSEU Local 468. It is being shared via this site in order to help anyone who is still looking for information or tools to use, as a resource to help them and their stewards should there not be anything in place locally to share or review. Remember that for those who are not a member in local 468, any action you take has to be with your stewards and executives of your local. Reach out to them and with their help, work to take the steps that you believe are necessary to protect your rights and interests.
President Local 468
Sample grievance templates
Here are the sample grievance templates: