CUPE 561 members ratified the agreement to transfer active employees in the SD43 Non-Teaching Pension Plan (NTPP) to the BC Municipal Pension Plan (MPP) with 97 per cent of members voting in favour.

Ballots were counted on Saturday after the last of three meetings for members to hear details about the plan and vote on ratification. Current SD43 retirees will remain members of the NTPP.

“CUPE 561 members work hard every day to provide support services in Coquitlam schools and like all workers, they should have a pension and benefits they can count on,” says CUPE 561 President Dave Ginter. “Our negotiating team persevered so that we could reach a deal that’s good for all of our members.”

The main terms of the agreement include a 4 per cent wage increase to cover the pension contribution difference between the two plans; full recognition in the MPP of all past service in the NTPP; and a “no worse off” guarantee for members who retire within five years of transferring to the MPP.

“We’re pleased that the members endorsed this agreement by such a majority,” said CUPE National Servicing Rep and lead negotiator Ross Idler. “We’re glad that we waited and eventually negotiated a deal we could wholeheartedly recommend to CUPE 561 members.”

The agreement has also been ratified by the SD43 Board of Education and BCPSEA on behalf of the Provincial Government. Some work remains to be done on the formal asset transfer agreement and the MPP Board will vote on accepting the agreement at their May meeting. The parties expect that the majority of active members in the NTPP will become members of the MPP by June 30, 2018.