692 Machinists Pension Plan Removes Vesting Requirements

Members Now Vested From Day One


The Trustees of the 692 Pension Plan have agreed unanimously to remove the two year / 350 hour vesting requirement, effective January 1st, 2013.

This removes a major stumbling block for Union Members changing from RRSP Retirement Plans to our Pension Plan without compromising the financial health of the fund.

Pension Plans have a major advantage over RRSP plans. An RRSP, on average, reserves 2.5% of the annual growth for the investment advisors and the sponsoring financial institutions. This charge may be hidden in a “no fees” plan but it is taken none the less. A Pension Plan is a non-profit, so it only takes enough to cover the cost of the money managers and adminstrators who handle the contributions and pension cheques, typically a total of 0.5%, a 2% advantage.

Two percent does not seem that much but when compounded over our working lives it is significant: 

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38th Grand Lodge Conducted With Style In Toronto


International President Tom Buffenbarger displays the custom-made gavel he used to chair the Convention

On Friday, September 14th, 2012, International President Tom Buffenbarger declare the 38th Grand Lodge Convention of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers adjourned. This capped a week of education and business conducted under his friendly and relaxed style of chairmanship.

General Secretary Treasurer Robert Roach reported the Machinists are the best funded large Union in North America. The dues adjustment of four years ago has returned financial stability to our organization.

There were minor amendments to the constitution made and resolutions passed.  Full report on these will be made once the offical documents are published. But for most delegates, the panel discussions and guest speaker were the most memorable interludes.

Obama receives the endorsement of the Machinists

Jerry Springer’s speech stands out as a real crowd pleaser. We are all familiar with his TV show where the occasional chair gets thrown between his guests. Most of us are unaware Jerry is a friend of Unions in general and the Machinist Union in particular. He served as the Mayor of Cincinnati and has been a life long Democrat. His defence of Health Insurance was humourous and cutting. Before the current law, popularily dubbed Obama Care, was enacted, 30 million Americans had NO health insurance. Now all will be covered. People who got sick, or worse whose children got sick, could be denied coverage when insurance needed to be renewed. No longer is this allowed. Obama Care is still hobbled by the decision to continue to use private insurers, unlike the single payer (i.e. the government) system the rest of the industrialized world uses. But it is a giant leap forward considering where they started.

Jerry told an anecdote to illustrate his point. Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for the presidency, promises to repeal the health laws on the first day in office. This would strip the insurance from 30 million Americans immediately. Jerry suggested that not one Repulican would turn down aid to a sick child if a desperate parent came to their door. But, as a group, they are willing to do just that to a whole phlanax of children with the stroke of a pen.

Yukio Manaka, President of the Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery and Manufacturing Workers

The IAM is involved with Unions around the world. The new global alliance Industriall brings together Aerospace unions to challenge multi-national corporations on their own playing field. As Valter Sanches of the German National Conferation of Metalworkers pointed out, corporations running just-in-time or lean-manufacturing operations, where parts from around the world are brought together on the morning of their use, are now vunerable to disruptions in far off countries if local Trade Unionist can delay a part for even a day. International Solidarity can effectively support brother and sisters in another country in a way that never existed in the old era of large inventories. Now a lack of a $5 part can bring an entire assembly line to a halt.

Thomas Mulclair, leader of the Offical Opposition

Human Rights are important to our Union. What we desire for ourselves, we desire for all. One panel tackled the issue of Labour Rights, a second the toxic legacy of Corporate Criminals. Also speaking that day were Thomas Mulcair, leader of the Officical Opposition and leader of the NDP and Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian labour Congress. General Wesley Clarke gave an inspirational presentation of leadership.

Britsh Columbia’s own Tania Canniff, Chair of the Women and Human Right Committee

Health Care was the front and center for both in the US and the world, Jobs Now! was the theme on Thursday and Women Around the World was the focus on the last day.

The Canadian Women at Convention

Highlight videos of the proceeding are available for viewing at the International Machinists’ web site goiam.org.

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Northwest News Publishes Retirement Income Special

The latest edition of our District 250 newsletter focuses solely on Retirement Income. It both describes government programs such as Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan and describes the pensions options available to Machinists in British Columbia.

Click here to download a copy

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Machinists Rally at the Manitoba Legislature March 23, 2012 Against the Aveos Closure

TORONTO – The Aveos shutdown breaches key sections of the Air Canada Public Participation Act, New Democrats argued today. The Act mandates that Air Canada’s overhaul operations must remain in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal. This ensured that Canadians would continue to benefit after the privatization of the airline. The overhaul work was previously contracted out to Aveos, which ceased operations this week.

New Democrat critic for Transport, Olivia Chow, spoke out today on this issue.

“Thousands of good Canadian jobs have been lost and we know there is also a legal obligation for Air Canada to maintain overhaul operations in these locations. The Conservatives must stand up and investigate this closure to ensure that the Act is enforced and that overhaul operations can resume.”

Machinists demonstrate in Richmond, BC against the Aveos closure on Monday March 19, 2012

The NDP fully supports the obligations in the Air Canada Public Participation Act to maintain overhaul operations in Canada. Going forward, New Democrats will continue to press the Conservatives to ensure that this act is upheld given the Aveos closure.

“There are 1,800 people in Quebec now out of work, and there are numerous calls for action to save these jobs and to ensure that Air Canada fulfills its obligations to the Act. Quebec has been hit hard by cuts to the aerospace sector and we need these cuts to end now,” said Industry critic Guy Caron.

Machinists demonstrate at the Quebec legislature against Aveos closure on March 21, 2012

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Solidarity Pays Off For Inland Kenworth (Nanaimo) Machinists

Commercial Transport Mechanic Apprentice Collin Dorset started as a lubeman



At Contract negotiations both side have their needs, wants and issues. Part of the Bargaining Process is the winnowing through competing lists of proposals to find out what really matters to each party.

Machinists at Inland Kenworth (Nanaimo) were faced with a challenge after the first round of bargaining. The money was adequete, given the economy, and specific issues such as carrying the company phone had been resolved but the employer was wed to three items which appeared to be Must Haves.

Collin Cardin mans the Parts Counter

After the first Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was rejected, a rotating layoff proposal was withdrawn at the second round. But proposals restricting the by-seniority scheduling of vacation on the calendar to full weeks (though a senoir emplyee was excluded so he could attend his daughters BMX National meets) and a proposal to allow voluntary scheduling of December statutory holidays still remained.

Steve Portlock and Wade Donkersley access technical specs

The 2nd MOA was turned down when voting split 50-50. It appeared the Union bargaining was running out of gas. The company refused to budge and so a strike vote was held. If that strike vote had failed the matter would have end there and the Union signed the last MOA.  But instead, it made all the difference.

The Members talked amongst themselves and made sure the Bargaining Team had a solid mandate to continue, voting 90% in favour of strike action. Suddenly, the company reversed its earlier position and withdrew all the contentious proposals.

The MOA was quickly ratified, showing how solidarity is the most effective arrow in the Union quiver. The workers in Nanimo were the last of Inland Kenworth’s Union branches to settle a new agreement. Building on the other units settlements, the Nanaimo machinists received:

  •  2% – 2% – 2% with COLA protection to 3% in the last year
  • an increase to $2,000 for the yearly dental allowances
  • $100 per week for carrying the company phone
  • $3 per hour for field work
  • a $1 increase for equipment mechanics
  • further wage increases through certification premiums for
    • Motor Vehicle Inspection tickets                $0.75/hr
    • Class 1 or 3 driving license                           $0.50/hr
    • Caterpillar Engine cert                                 $0.25/hr
    • MX engine cert                                              $0.25/hr
    • Cummins engine cert                                    $0.25/hr
    • Eaton Transmission cert                              $0.25/hr
  • increased First Aid Ticket premium of up to $1 per hour
  • 6 weeks vacation after 30 years
  • a joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee to oversee all ungrading and apprentices
  • a new classification for Resident Mechanic
  • Members to vote to join Machinists Pension Plan or remain with the employer Retirement Savings Plan

Taken all together, and considering the general economy, not a bad day’s work!

Chief Shop Steward and Bargaining Committee Member John Humphrey takes satisfaction in the Collective Agreement solidarity won

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