After more than a year of hearings, I am pleased to report that Justice Dennis O’Connor has ruled in our favour in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) arbitration issue, concluding that the MOA is still in effect. His decision reads as follows:
Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, I make the following Award:
- A Declaration that the MOA is a valid and subsisting contract between the parties and that the notice of termination dated December 13, 2019 by which CBC/Radio Canada purported to give three months’ notice of its intention to terminate this agreement is of no force or effect and does not operate to terminate the MOA;
- An Order that CBC/Radio-Canada forthwith recognize STTRC as a full party to the MOA and meet with the CCSB to reach any necessary agreements on the implementation of this Order.
–Justice Dennis O’Connor
What happens now?
We will contact the CBC to implement the agreement and meet its obligation to pay pensioners and employees their shares of the past two pension surpluses.
We are hopeful that the Corporation will do the right thing by working with us to implement the deal, rather than trying to challenge it in Superior Court. Such action would only cause further delays to people receiving their fair share. Should CBC decide to appeal the Arbitrator’s decision, we are confident that the courts would not overturn the decision.
We will provide you with more details as soon as we have more information to share. We ask for your understanding and patience as the parties work through the process.
Many people have been involved in this process, including our union partners who contributed in countless ways. Special thanks are in order for Dan Oldfield, who led the original negotiation and developed our arbitration strategy, our legal team of Sean Fitzpatrick, who skillfully presented our case, and Amanda Pask, who brilliantly wrote our closing argument. This victory for the PNA would not have been possible without you.
Donald Langis, Interim President
CBC Pensioners National Association
Background: the parties and their positions
The issue for the arbitrator to rule was whether an agreement reached by the CBC with the PNA and its unions remains valid, and whether the conditions requiring the sharing of pension surpluses were met.
The PNA sought to have the arbitrator rule that the agreement remains in full force and that CBC must honour the following provisions:
- The deal continues to be in force, based on the language in the agreement. This stipulates that the parties must review the agreement every ten years, beginning in 2019.
- They fulfilled their obligations to conduct a review of the MOA between June and December of 2019.
- The agreement was designed to resolve the issue of pension surplus sharing once and for all.
The CBC’s position was that the agreement expired on December 31, 2019, and that the parties must reach a new agreement. CBC sought to have the arbitrator agree that it was within its rights to unilaterally terminate the agreement.