CBC Pensioners Association, Maritime Region Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 3                                                                                     Spring, 2003

CBC $45 Million, PENSIONERS Zero

No one can say we weren’t warned. CBC president Robert Rabinovitch wrote last fall to tell us not to expect a distribution from the surplus after the actuarial review. The markets were down, but it seemed strange that he would issue a warning before the Dec. 31st, 2002 date for the review. When completed it showed the surplus had shrunk to $156 million.
In May the CBC told the association and the unions that it had a plan for the surplus. Management asked that the details be kept confidential for a week. They said the plan would go to the Board of Directors later in the month, even though it was deemed unacceptable by us.
The details came out following a meeting on May 16th. The CBC will take another $45 million through a contribution holiday that will end next year. The employees will continue their reduced contribution holiday until the end of the year, and then resume full contributions. The pensioners will get nothing from the surplus. The Association had asked for improvements to the plan in lieu of a distribution but the answer was, “no.” The CBC said that there was no room for negotiation.
Our national executive held a conference call on May 21 to consider our response. We decided to write to the Board of Directors to voice our concern that the CBC was abandoning its tradition of sharing surplus distributions. In the past there has been a 60-40 split with the Corporation taking the larger share. We argued that providing nothing for us was unfair and immoral. The letter was sent to the Chair, Carole Taylor, in time for the Board meeting on May 23rd. The Board was not swayed and approved the Management proposal.


By Jack Brownell

We had an intensive round of meetings in Ottawa in early May, and here are some of the highlights:
Election of officers:
President Don Waterston
Vice Pres. (English) - Bill Laing
Vice Pres. (French) - Gilles Thibault
Treasurer - Don Lambdon
All by acclamation. One change - the retirement of Treasurer Larry O’Grady
The convention approved a 6% reduction in members dues, as soon as the CBC can reprogram the computer (July 1st ?)
Chapters will be funded from the National coffers instead of regional. ($1/month/member)
Responsibilities and authority of regions more clearly defined.
Limits placed on creation of new chapters
Many changes in language with little change in intent.
National Board Meetings:
Supplementary Health Care revamping still stalled, waiting for CBC lawyers to report on Liability. This stalemate appears to be nowhere near resolution.
The interim report on Blue Cross shows a deficit to Mar 31/03. With this and the expected continued rise in drug costs, we are likely looking at a healthy increase for next year.


By Nil d'Entremont

New Members and a new Secretary.
The new retirees from the Moncton area are: Claire Belliveau, Diane Belliveau, Normand Boudreau and Michel Mercier. A gathering was held on March 21, 2003 at Château Moncton to honour them. We welcome them as members of our association.
Maurice Olsen is now secretary of the Moncton chapter. He replaces Yvon Michaud, who was unable to continue because of other commitments. We wish to thank Yvon for his services during the past two years.
Supplementary Health Insurance continues to be the major concern of our members. At our executive committee meeting of February 25, 2003, Maurice Olsen submitted the text of a petition regarding premium increases for Blue Cross. This petition will be sent to the C. B. C. Pension Board of Trustees with a copy to Jack Brownell.
On April 2, Francis Porelle attended the Maritime Region annual meeting on behalf of the Moncton Chapter.


Our regular meeting place is being sold and a future site remains to be selected. The Royal Canadian Legion building on Cunard Street will be sold at the end of June. If the new owner has no immediate plans for it, the Legion may lease it back. In that case we could continue to meet there for the time being.
We have done some looking around and have come up with some other possibilities. The Armdale Yacht Club is available, but we might have to change our meeting day in order to use it. Air Canada Pensioners meet there now on the first Wednesday of the month. The Legion halls in Fairview and Sackville are also available and might suit our purposes. Some decisions will have to be made in the fall.


The Maritime branch of the Pensioners Association is opening its membership to a new group of people. After a lot of debate, we’ve decided to admit social members into the group. It will be open to people who have served at least 5 years with the CBC and are not in receipt of a CBC Pension. Such members will not be eligible to serve on the Executive and will not have a vote on any matter concerning the aims and objectives of the Association. The membership fee will be $40 a year and will entitle them to the same social benefits as regular members.
When the idea was first introduced at our regular meeting in February 2003, it was voted down. Members argued that such people are free to drop in anytime as guests, and there was no need for a special membership. But people like Harry Roberts and Les Stoodley told us that they would feel more comfortable if they had membership standing, and were contributing financially to the association. The executive brought the issue back to the March meeting with a fuller explanation and the new motion was approved unanimously.


New officers were named at the meeting in Halifax on Apl. 2, 2003. They are:
Jack Brownell President
Jack Ingram Vice-president
Tom Pottie Treasurer
Ivan Munn Communications & Secretary
Floyd Eisan Past President
Nil d’Entremont Moncton.
Susan Altman, John McKay, Colin Cooper, Sally Burns, Brenda Roach, and Pat Short – Members at Large.
The slate was accepted unanimously.
Audrey Sampson, Judi Milne and Rufus Abbott retired.


The financial statement for the calendar year 2002 shows a healthy balance in the bank after all our expenses were taken care of. Our treasurer, Tom Pottie, presented the report to our annual meeting on April 2, 2003. The accounts were audited by Colin Cooper in time for the meeting.

Financial Report at Dec.31, 2002

Balance at December 31, 2001 $5,911
Members’ Dues Allocation 7,023
Proceeds-Book Sales (B.Harper) 496
Total Revenue $13,430
Postal Box Rental 112
Stationery & Supplies 87
Postage 72
Communication 125
Newsletters 708
Memorials and Donations 1,730
Membership Drive 298
Christmas Dinner 3,663
Travel 221
Dues Allocation-Moncton 600
Miscellaneous 117
Total Expenses $7,733
Net Revenue at Dec. 31, 2002 $5,697



Bain, Elsie L. - 85 - died May 10, 2003, in Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax. Elsie graduated from the V.G. school of nursing in 1941, and the following year married Don Bain. She is survived by three daughters, 6 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Don, and a daughter, Donna.

BLEI, Rolf died Nov. 30, 2002, in the New Halifax Infirmary, QEII, at the age of 89. Born in Germany, he was a son of the late Alfred and Elli Blei. He worked for CBC TV, Halifax, for many years as a technical producer. He is survived by his wife, Gertrud, daughters Burglind Elli Gregg of Bedford; Evelyn Beate McGuffin of Kitchener, Ont; and four grandchildren.

BRUCHESI, Yves J. - 83 - died in Montreal on Nov. 30, 2002, after a lengthy illness. A native of Montreal, he served in the Second World War and then worked at CBAF/CBAFT in Moncton, as head of Technical Services and later as head of Transmitter Operations until he retired in the mid-1980s. He is survived by his wife, Lucile, five children and six grandchildren.

HORNSTEIN, Rube died Jan. 30, 2003, at Saint Vincent Guest House in Halifax. Born in London, Ont, he was a meteorologist and provided weather reports for the armed forces in Halifax from 1940-46. After that he headed the Halifax Weather office until his retirement in 1972. He was well known throughout the Region for his Radio and Television work, and was the weatherman on the CBC supper hour show for many years. He is survived by his wife Helen, and several nieces and nephews.

MORRISON, Hildegarde M. died February 15, 2003, at St. Vincent's Guest Home in Halifax. She was born in Mulgrave, and worked for a time as Town Clerk. Later she moved to Halifax and worked for the Herald. Then she moved to the CBC, where she spent 28 years in the Finance and Sales Departments. In her spare time she was active as a Red Cross volunteer. She is survived by two sisters and a niece.


By Alf Walker

On March 21, 2003 CBC retirees from Sackville, Amherst, Moncton and PEI met with Jack Brownell of Halifax, president of the Maritime Region. The meeting, at the Legion in Sackville N.B., attracted 23 people despite a forecast of freezing rain.
The president talked about the benefits of membership in the Association, saying the CBC takes us seriously, and we are able to argue for improved benefits. Jack said communication is very important and the Association uses several methods to keep in touch. There are national and regional newsletters, as well as national and regional Web sites. There are Email lists and direct mail outs, and membership meetings in various locations.
The discussion covered the pension surplus, secondary health care and spousal issues. Jack said the performance of the pension fund depends on the stock market and right now the surplus is down because of weak markets in the past few years.
Concern was expressed about the cost of health care. Supplementary coverage can cost as much as $239.00 a month for a family plan. Jack said this is affecting the standard of living of pensioners, and costs are continuing to rise. The plan is being revised to reduce costs.
Someone asked if spousal benefits would cover a new spouse if a pensioner remarried. Jack said there are no pension survivor benefits for new spouses, and this should be changed. He said a workable formula could be devised. Jack added that the 60% paid to surviving spouses is inadequate and should be increased to 70% as the spouse is left with many of the same expenses.
The Ladies Auxiliary of the Legion served soup and sandwiches for lunch and people had a chance to mingle socially and continue their discussions.


By Al Thurber

Bob Richards is still doing some gardening and 'playing the stock markets' on paper! Barb Randall has been glued to the TV watching her favourite sports: golf and curling. Charlie Adams has been raking the snow off his lawn so he can start mowing grass. Kevin Ryan is doing a lot of narrations for various agencies plus he has a new position with the N.B. Paraplegic Association. Roger Smith is at home looking after his ailing mother but is also splitting wood for next winter.
Marriage news...Barb Kendrick and Gary Arsenault (plant manager) walked the aisle in Vegas. Andy Chaisson and his wife Veronica are busy baby-sitting their two grandchildren, 1-1/2 and 2-1/2 years old, but Andy still has time to drive rental cars around the Maritimes for a part-time job.
Cheryl Stairs has retired and she and Neil are moving in mid June to St. Stephen. Joe and Linda Wood have recently returned from Hawaii; Joe is manager/accountant, packer and delivery person for Linda's home-based clothing business.
Sterling and Anne Gosman have moved to the Annapolis Valley where Sterling is studying theology at Acadia University. They were recently in Fredericton where their daughter Misha was the star attraction at the official opening of Radio Canada's Chaine Culturelle.
Doug Lawson is still building real airplanes that actually fly. Paul Dixon is working 18 hours a day. His latest activity is calling bingo on the native community radio station in Fredericton. Al and Elizabeth Thurber are retiring again by selling their Bed & Breakfast in Fredericton and moving out to Mactaquac country and down sizing which will give Al more time for flying and ham radio.