TEAM Office End of Year Review December 22nd 2011

To:            TEAM-IFPTE Local 161 Members
From:         Bob Linsdell, Executive Director
Date:         December 22, 2011
Re:            TEAM Office End of Year Review

2011 has been a busy and eventful year, with TEAM dealing with issues that affect every member, such as, pensions, medical and dental plans, postings and career development opportunities.


The pension lawsuit appeal was heard December 13th – 15th, 2010 and to date no decision has been rendered. The decision will be provided to the lawyers on a Friday, we just don’t know which Friday, but we will let you know as soon as we are able.

A retired TEAM member has initiated a lawsuit to address unfairness in the application of the pension formula. As you may be aware, an employee retiring mid-year receives a lower monthly pension than he or she would receive if the formula was calculated in strict compliance with the pension plan text and pension law principles. Employees retiring later in the year may not be exposed to this flaw in the calculation. More details will be published in the Pension Rep report early in the New Year.

Medical and Dental Plans

The Joint Benefits Committee met with Blue Cross in September to seek the return of the $400,000 plan surplus (see page 2 of the TEAM Times). We will learn the full details of Blue Cross’ response in early January.

The dental plan has a $1M+ surplus and the Benefits Committee is debating how best to utilize it. Options include raising the annual cap, a contribution holiday or a combination of the two.

Workplace Issues

We have handled a large number of complaints and grievances this year. We continue to hear from members about their workplace issues, particularly workload, overtime, pay rates, call-out pay, accommodation, and contractors.

Members are indicating that they feel the compensation offered by MTS for some IT positions and Project Managers is not competitive and is exacerbating the skills gap within the Company, increasing the reliance on contractors. A number of initiatives are under way to bring the required skills into the regular workforce, but compensation is something we will have to address at the bargaining table in 2013.

Bursary Awards

Congratulations to the following Bursary Award recipients:

Student TEAM Member
Courtney MacMillan Joanne MacMillan
Melissa Meadows Kevin meadows
Zachariah Unrau Michelle Unrau
Eric Groot Andy Groot
Scott Hellyer Norma Hellyer
Tyler Pauls Rick Pauls

Information about the 2011 recipients and available bursaries will be published in the next edition of TEAM Times.

New and Noteworthy

The Office

We said goodbye to Susan Bilyk in October. We will be advertising for a new Administrative Assistant in the New Year.

Holiday Coverage

Please note that the office will be closed between December 26th and January 2nd, 2012. For immediate assistance please contact:

Misty Hughes-Newman:  941-5338
Qwin De Brant:  958-1299

The TEAM office staff wish you and your family the best of the Season and a Happy New Year.

TEAM-IFPTE Local 161
204-984-9470 or 1-877-984-9470