President’s Annual Report 2010
For those history buffs May 2000 was when the CBC Pensioners National Association held its founding meeting in Montreal. That is ten years ago!
Jack Brownell, Jack Ingram and I attended the meeting. Since Montreal 2000 we have come a long way and done a number of ground breaking things.
Jack Brownell had a vision of Regional groups with satellites. Brownell was the person who put the name “chapters” forward.
Both Jack Ingram and I have worked to get the Maritimes structured as Brownell envisaged. The Chapter concept is now used for the full National organization
Brownell, before he unfortunately left us, was the one who saw Moncton up and running with the late as chair. In fact Moncton was the first chapter in the National organization. Since then PEI has been formed, followed by Cape Breton. Now it looks as if Fredericton will be the next and hopefully the last.
This will give the Maritimes five centers that can act as focal points for CBC Pensioners to gravitate to. They will serve as social gathering places for the local members of the Association.
Last fall the National board voted to change the chapter funding formula from a dollar per head (min $25) to a basic one hundred dollars a month. Or twelve hundred a year. The change has meant that chapters now have adequate funding to hold meetings and do things. It seems to have had a very positive effect.
Here are just a few of the major changes we have dealt with over the ten years.
· Obviously the most important is pension memorandum of understanding (MOU). Or as some know it, The Pension Sharing Agreement.
· There is supplemental health care (SHC) which is now under one roof, GWL. We are now working toward a contract change that hopefully will see a just ONE contract?
· There is the pension splitting (income tax) committee that Pierre was part of. They were the ones who got the Federal Government to change the Income Tax rules.
· Our membership is represented on the CCSB board. This gives us access to the Special Assistance Fund.
· The EAP program, run by Human Solutions. And the various affinity programs such as Johnston.
· I think that covers most but there will be more coming I’m sure.
All this leaves us locally dealing with our charities and still trying to get some sort of SHC identification card for Bert Skinner.
I can say that we were successful with our Charities. We still have the charities we contribute to at our beginnings, they are grandfathered.
NOTE: Bad, and Good news for Bert. Simply put the answer is no, GWL does not supply cards to individual members. However there is a web site where members can print off their own information. Here it is:
We have our own web site thanks to Ivan Munn and now David McClafferty. David and I have been able to organize our e-mail address in groups so that we can now mail to the full list or a segment of the list. An example, last week I was able to send a meeting reminder to just the PEI members. Only the PEI people saw it and I had at least one person indicate he saw the reminder. This all means that each chapter will have access to its own mailing list.
McClafferty is now working on the web site proper to give each chapter access to its own page. This will mean they can post notices or pictures independently. It also means that they don’t have to spend their local monies buying web access. Of course we have to get them to realize this tool is there for them. But this will happen over time.
I want to go back to the year 2000 and the Montreal meeting. In actual fact Montreal was NOT the beginnings nor were the names Brownell, Ingram and McKay the originals.
Several years before that group of us met at a restaurant in Bedford to complain about … you can probably guess - “Blue Cross” which we now refer to as SHC (supplementary health care). The group was lead by Fred Martin and chaired by Floyd Eisan. Floyd became our local chair and eventually took on the National mantle.
At that time I was naive enough to try to make sure the center of the Association remained outside of Ottawa. That turned out to be an impossible task.
It’s now ten years later and we are slowly winding up the Pension Class Action case. We are heading into a survey to try to address the SHC issues. Regionally we are attempting to get a chapter running in Fredericton to serve the greater New Brunswick area.
This brings me back to our other chapters. Moncton is really the envy of a number of people. They have several meetings a year. Christmas features a turkey dinner, summer is remarkable for a lobster supper, and in between there are a few lunch meetings at the local Press Club. All these meeting are very well attended. The Press Club incidentally is where Jack Brownell and I met with the group to form the chapter.
Cape Breton held a meeting a few months ago and now is organizing another one for either the summer or fall. This information comes from my latest phone call to Bill Doyle and Daphne Winans.
Last Wednesday (Apr 28th) Jack Ingram and I made a day trip the Charlottetown to attend a noon meeting of the PEI chapter. Jack Stewart, the former chair, has taken on the job as the secretary/treasurer and Ian Petrie is the new chair.
There were about 17 people at the meeting and they too are looking forward to having another gathering in the not too distant future. As a note while there I was able to get two new retirees to sign on as members.
I tell you all this so you will realize that it’s you members who are really the catalyst for the Maritimes. The funds we receive are from all the people in these chapters as well as the regular members who don’t have a chapter.
To put it in perspective there are, at the moment, 472 regional members, Nova Scotia 302, NB 141 and PEI 29. Normally our local group averages 35 to 50 per monthly meetings. I can’t stress how important your attendance and participation are. They provide the energy that keeps us moving ahead.
This is something that we all have to keep in mind as we go forward. So to the people who are no longer with us and there are many, thank you and to you who are here thank you for your support!