To the Meeting of the CRA Executive Committee May 14, 2015
Sister Diana Broadbent resigned as President in early February. As per the Bylaws, and Diana’s recommendation, I took over the role of Acting President. We miss Diana’s contribution, wish her well, and hope her health continues to improve.
Since the last meeting of the Executive in September 2014, we have worked together on a number of initiatives that I feel advanced the work and profile of the CRA.
We implemented an expense policy for Chapter Reps to facilitate the gathering of retirees in their regions. So far, BC and Ontario have taken advantage of the assistance to arrange a meeting of retirees, during the Div. Convention. We are encouraged to see the growing activism of retirees.
Another effort to connect with retirees was the ‘Indexing and Our Pension Plan’ document. I’m particularly proud of the work of this Executive, in consultation with trusted colleagues, to draft and finalize a fact sheet that presents some of the issues in the current pension debate. Our goal was to simplify some of the pension jargon, and encourage members to engage in informed discussion with active employees and elected officials. We circulated the document in March to the Chapter Reps with a disappointing lack of response or comments, with a couple of exceptions. In March, the document along with a covering letter, was mailed to all retirees, not just CRA members. The response has been very positive.
In recent months, I have responded to a couple of questions from Chapter Reps and others regarding benefits being denied by Green Shield. I’ve been following up with Chapter Reps to try and monitor progress.
I’m continuing to work with colleagues to try and develop a piece on the bridge vs indexing.
Peter Paulekat recently sent me a copy of a successful arbitration on behalf of two retirees. We agreed that Blair, the retiree rep on the CSU Executive, would be advised of grievances filed by CSU on behalf of retirees, and Blair in turn would keep this Executive informed. Successful grievances that are public, as this one is, could be posted in a section on the CRA website for those reps who love to read arbs.!
I think we have been working well together as a team, to promote and raise issues affecting our members like pensions and benefits. I look forward to continuing our work together.
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