Provincial budget implications on retirement-eligible faculty members

Dan Belliveau

Last week, UWOFA informed members that Western had invited some faculty members to participate in a voluntary retirement incentive program. It is not a coincidence that this retirement incentive package has emerged on the heels of the recent provincial budget.

UWOFA is particularly troubled by proposals in the budget that would amend the Ministry of Training, Education and Universities Act to allow the minister to make regulations governing the "reduction, limitation and alterations of compensation due to certain individuals". The Ministry is specifically targeting those working past the age of 65 and eligible to collect a pension along with their full-time salaries.

As Western employees, members of UWOFA have a defined contribution plan representing a form of deferred compensation. There is no savings to be gained at Western should the minister enact such powers.

UWOFA is very concerned about this development and is working closely with our provincial association, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, to determine how best to respond. On the surface, we believe it is inappropriate, violates collective bargaining processes that determine member benefits and is very likely illegal as a form of age discrimination.

UWOFA will keep our membership informed as more information emerges.

Yours in solidarity,

Dan Belliveau, UWOFA president