Newsletter May 2023

Newsletter May 2023

News from your CUPE Staff Retirees Association

May 2023


Greetings Sisters and Brothers,


Spring is time for renewal and we’re doing that with some of our CSRA practices. At our first executive meeting of the year, our new treasurer Leanne MacMillan recommended that we move toward electronic banking. This will allow new members to e-transfer their membership fee when they submit their retirement documents rather than having to send a cheque. After that first year, the fee is automatically deducted from the January pension payment.


CSRA is in a healthy financial position at this time and holds several term deposits. Rather than add to those savings, the executive agreed to develop a formal donations policy focussed on organizations that advance issues of concern to retirees and seniors.


We held a Zoom meeting of the full Executive Board — the four officers plus the regional chapter representatives — in April to adopt new by-laws facilitating both those changes. The by-laws stipulate that no single individual may transfer funds electronically, just like having two signatures on a paper cheque. The donations policy has been added as an appendix to the by-laws. In addition, we amended the section on elections so that an executive member who is not seeking re-election can act as chair of the elections committee.


In a follow-up meeting, the executive committee approved the 2023 budget with $5,000 designated this year for donations. To start, the following organizations have been sent $500 each:


•   Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

•   L’Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS)

•   Council of Canadians

•   Canadian Health Care Coalition 

•   Seniors for Climate Action Now

•   Justice for Workers


If you have suggestions for further donations, please send them to


Web Site

The donations policy, 2022 financial statement, and 2023 budget will all be available at However, our site is currently moving to a new provider. When that move is done, we hope to also have new contact emails for all the executive and chapter reps.


Cost of Living Adjustment


By the time you read this, you may have already received a letter from the CUPE Employees Pension Plan. Our retirees rep on the Joint Board of Trustees, Nancy Parker, reports:


The JBT has received the preliminary results of the actuarial valuation report that includes the calculation to determine if the plan can provide for an adjustment for CPI as set out in the plan text (plan rules). The preference of the Board is that the specific details of the CPI adjustment are delivered directly from the Board to all retirees at the same time. A letter providing the full details of the percentage increase and the retroactive amount you are entitled to will be mailed in the coming weeks. The adjustment is expected to be processed with the June pension payment.”


From CSU

CSU retirees rep Cheryl Colborne reports that the GreenShield benefits book is currently being reviewed to bring it up to date. As well, the policy grievance and individual grievances for medical marijuana have been filed. These involve CSU, COPE and CDU and do affect retirees. CSU is the lead on the policy grievance.


Looking for Discounts?

Cheryl has also brought to our attention Union Savings,, a group that negotiates reduced prices for union members with many stores, services, and entertainment venues. If you were a CSU, COPE or CUPE member, you can sign up using your former local. Some of you may be individual members of the Congress of Union Retirees, which also offers member discounts on insurance and other services.


Collective Action

Thanks to everyone who signed petitions or sent emails in support of the Canadian Federation of Pensioners campaign to protect defined benefit pension plans. The private member’s Bill C-228 has passed the Senate. While its provisions will not come into effect until four years after proclamation, the end result will be to give pensioners superpriority for unfunded liabilities when a company goes bankrupt. It’s been a long time coming.


Looking to the future, the Congress of Union Retirees (CSRA is an affiliated group) is inviting union retiree members, family, seniors, and supporters across the country to join with GFoundation’s ( ) annual tree planting from wherever they live in Canada.


The tree planting project will begin the week of June 4 to coincide with World Environment Day (Week). After planting your tree(s), tree planters will be asked to the click to Global Foundation to register the location of your tree(s) in the new CURC National Forest.  A map of the new CURC National Forest will be produced each year, in time for October 1st UN International Day for Seniors, to demonstrate the difference trees can make to climate change, globally.


Comings and Goings

Sometimes working for CUPE becomes a project for the whole family — or at least for the staff member’s spouse. Those relationships can remain important even in retirement and beyond. This is a gentle reminder to let your spouse know that, if desired, they can continue membership in CSRA after your death by informing CUPE Pensions and letting us know at The annual fee will be deducted as usual from the January payment.


With condolences to colleagues, friends and family, we bid farewell to:


Maritimes       Bob Crockett


QC                   Gilles Giguère

                        Pierrette Lampron


Please join us in welcoming the following new members:


NB       Kimberley McCaffrey

            Maureen Michaud


QC       Michel Constantin

            Michel Gratton

            Marc Ranger

            Richard Gardner


ON - National  Philippe Gagnon

                        Sylvie Ouellet

                        Carol Proulx


ON       Joan Lockwood

            Lee Douitsis

            Melina Etienne

            Laura Lesko

            Michelle Miller

            Paul Tetrault


AB        Linda Crump


BC        Ross Idler

Kevin McConnachie

            Ian McLean


Wishing you a pleasant and sun-filled summer,


Pat, Shelly, Leanne, Carole