UPEI remains ready and willing to negotiate collective agreements with all unions and bargaining units currently seeking a collective agreement. As a major component of the total compensation package, the UPEI Pension Plan is an important part of these negotiations. This Plan membership consists of unionized and non-unionized faculty and staff at UPEI.
A comprehensive proposal, including a pension proposal, was presented to the UPEIFA on February 4, 2016. Both parties further discussed the UPEI Pension Plan on April 13 during the first of two days set aside for side table negotiations dedicated to pension. The University has not received a counter proposal.
It is important to note that a side table approach can allow greater efficiency and commonality in information sharing but does not relieve either the University or the individual bargaining agents from making every effort to conclude a new collective agreement with respect to terms and conditions of employment, including pension.
The University believes a solution exists to mitigate the vulnerability of the current Plan’s structure and achieve a negotiated agreement by June 30, 2016 when the UPEI faculty agreement expires. As such the University has applied for conciliation to assist both parties reach a negotiated agreement.
UPEI is accountable to our major funders including students, the province, and donors. The PEI Government stated that it expects publicly funded institutions to deal effectively with pension plan liabilities and risk. In the Speech from the Throne on June 3, 2015, the Government said:
“To ensure that our post-secondary institutions can continue their vital role into the future, their fiscal sustainability must be assured, and pensions play a major role in this. My Government has made progress toward securing its pensions for the future, and we will continue to strongly encourage our publicly funded institutions to place priority and follow a similar course.”
The University wants bargaining with the UPEI Faculty Association (UPEIFA) to continue without delay. UPEI is a strong university with an outstanding faculty, staff, and administration serving our students. The University is committed to working together to continue to foster this relationship.