Also, we have an urgent need for your help in tackling the decline in our membership over recent years. Since BPG has only 10,000 members out of about 30,000 Bell retirees, there is a high probability that 2 out of every 3 of your former colleagues and friends are not members. In addition there are many current employees who can join. While we try to reach everyone through ads in "In Touch" and other recruitment initiatives, we have only had limited success and really need your personal help .
Please help us grow our chapter, which has now dropped behind Montreal in terms of size even though we have a larger potential membership. Don’t leave it up to your chapter executive ... please find those 2 out of every 3 Bell friends and ask them to join.
Recently in the news we have seen many stories about Sears pensioners who are likely to lose much of their pension and benefits, and while Bell is in no way in the same position as Sears, the lack of protection for pensioners in bankruptcy is one of the many issues that BPG continues to work on in its’ lobbying efforts.
So, please talk to those friends who may not be members, and help BPG to have the strongest voice possible in dealing with Bell and the government on the issues that impact current and future pensioners.
See the link below on why your friends should become members.
Since many of our members are unable to attend the Annual General Meeting or the Barrie meeting we are pleased to provide a video of the President’s Message as well as the various presentations made at the AGM. Of course it’s no substitute for being there but given our geographic footprint we hope that our members can have an opportunity to read and listen to the messages.
“The Canadian Federation of Pensioners of which BPG is a member has analyzed the platform of the parties for the upcoming Ontario Provincial Election with a focus on the impact on pensioners. The articles have been reviewed and edited by our own Pension Committee. This is provided for information purposes as one element of the factors that will go into your own personal decision. It is not an endorsement of any specific party or platform. Note that only the BCE plan is affected by Ontario regulations however the Ontario legislation as do other provincial legislation may affect future direction of Federal legislation that impacts the Bell Pension Plan which covers the majority of our members.”
Located in Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Scarborough and Toronto, the clubs organize various activities, including member meetings, cultural and touristic outings, and volunteerism. Info: www.telcocommunityvolunteers.com.
BPG is a volunteer organization and as such we often get questions from members about our pension plan. After much consideration our team has put together a document that details everything a member should know about their Bell pension.
You know we have been fighting hard to ensure pensions are protected in insolvency. You don’t need to be reminded of how Nortel and Sears pensioners saw significant reductions in their pensions.
Scott Duvall (NDP MP for Hamilton Mountain) has authored Bill C-384 which reflects BPG’s position: Any deficit in the funding of defined benefit pension plans when companies are insolvent should be classed as “super-priority” so that those deferred wages (pensions) can be fully paid out.
One week ago, we launched the Ontario Facebook page with great success. Since then, we have had 2,859 page views, 793 followers and 698 total likes which is absolutely fabulous. Two people have expressed reservations as it is their preference not to use any Social Media sites.
In light of the recent breach and exploitation of data from Facebook, the following article and links provide information about Facebook and the various features. Hopefully, this information would allow users to make better use of the site and also protect themselves by making informed decisions of what should and should not be posted, thereby keeping your personal information private.
In the budget presented on Feb 27th 2018 the Minister of finance promised to obtain feedback
from pensioners, workers, and companies and. will take a whole-of -government, evidence-
based approach towards addressing retirement security for all Canadians.
BPG, with your support, has been active in advocating for pension security in front of the federal and provincial governments. Canada’s legislative and regulatory framework for pension protection is weak when compared to many other developed nations.
To all BPG Pension holders this note is to advise you that Bell has sent out your annual personalized pension and benefits statement. You may have received the document already or you should receive it in the mail shortly.
Bell will donate more towards mental health initiatives in Canada, by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of our Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.
A Bell pensioner has commenced a class action on behalf of all Bell defined benefit pensioners.
For those unable to attend the most recent General Meetings in Oshawa and Mississauga, we have attached the presentations.
Halloween 1986 ……Way too cute to be scary!
Recognize any of these happy faces? These are some of the “characters” from the Ontario Regional Performance group celebrating Halloween just a few years ago. Oh, how times have changed.
Photo kindly submitted by Bruce Aikman, former Senior Director Revenue. From left to right:
Front row, seated: Donna Boutet, Diane Obuchi, Pat Doschok
Kneeling: Ken Aay
Middle row: Helen Rambo, Francis Romangola, Jackie Detlor, Marino Casiani
Back row: Jim Diodati, Russ Tyndall (in blue), Dave Jarrett, Mart Batcheon, Doug Huckwith
Thank You, Cathy
A huge “Thank You” from all of us to Cathy Vendramin, who has stepped down after 4+ years on the BPG Ontario Central Board. Cathy held several positions – Secretary, Sustainability member and Recruiting Committee member. Her years of experience and networking from her days in Bell HR served us well. And her enthusiasm and energy inspired us to explore new ideas. We wish Cathy the very best for the future.
Cathy’s “Bio” was published in the Fall 2017 Newsletter.
We would love to hear from anyone wishing to volunteer to be the next Secretary on the Board, or indeed, volunteer in any other capacity. Please email email@example.com.
The current Sears situation should be a wakeup call to everyone on a Defined Benefit pension as it seems likely that Sears pensioners will not see their full pensions paid due to the ongoing pension deficit of the Sears plan. Here is a link to a recent radio show on the CBC that explains why we should all be concerned.
Give a listen.
We have just been advised that due to construction delays at the Burnhamthorpe Community Centre the meeting date has been changed from November 2 to November 9th. Please adjust your plans accordingly. We apologise for this inconvenience.
Through our involvement with the Ontario Securities Commission we now have access to a number of their resources and for those members interested here is a helpful link to Investment Advice https://www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca/
A group of volunteers and members of the BPG Ontario Central Board visited Creekbank on September 28, 2017. We set up information tables at 2 locations, #5099 and #5025.
Carol Ann Cole has been a long-time supporter of BPG serving on our Board of Directors and supporting BPG in numerous ways including encouraging former staff to join. As we share the news of Carol Ann’s first novel we wanted to also acknowledge her contributions to BPG and in other ways as well.
Thanks to CARP for this following recent article which provides and excellent reason to be a mamber fof the Bell Pensioners Group.
Every day, businesses make decisions: expand or retract, rent or buy, fix purchase prices or take their chances on the open market. For better or worse, once they’ve made decisions, and signed contracts, they’re locked in. Our laws and law courts make it so – and with good reason. If businesses could walk away from their contractual obligations, chaos would rein, and our economy would literally collapse.
Unfortunately, there appears to be one notable exception to this rule. When it comes to employees and their pensions, businesses have been all too ready to walk away from pension commitments, and out courts have been all too willing to let them.
Thank you for your continued support of BPG, and in particular the Ontario Central Chapter - your membership is vital to our success. And thanks for receiving your communications electronically - our annual dues have remained unchanged at $20 for over 20 years thanks to the widespread use of emails for communication.
If you have been trying to use the Bell InTouch link you will know it has been down for a while. The good news is that Bell advises that there is a new temporary site.
The following is a summary of a presentation made at our 2017 AGM and this excellent presentation will be repeated in Barrie, Oshawa and Mississauga so if you missed it the first time we really encourage you to attend this presentation at one of these upcoming events.
Protect Your Money presented by representatives of the Ontario Securities Commission
Most people simply take their prescription to their usual pharmacy without much thought about the various charges assuming that they are all similar. However now......
The winter months have been marked by significant changes and renewal of your chapter board.
Remember 2008? A global financial crisis and the impending privatization of Bell Canada?
For the past 5 years, Alice held the position of Meeting Coordinator, attending to every minute detail required to successfully hold about 20 AGMs and General Membership meetings.
A very good question and one we, on the BPG board, ask ourselves continuously.
A Christmas tradition continued as the Fieldway Retirees’ Club held their gala luncheon at the St. George’s Golf and Country Club on Dec 14th, 2016.
The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) on our pension is based
We know that all Bell retirees have a wealth of skills and dedication honed during their professional careers.
We’ve got some good news.Prime Minister Trudeau listened.
One of BPG’s most significant Governmental lobbying effort has been about the introduction of Target Benefit Plans and enabling legislation.
Bell has sent out the annual personalized pension and benefits statement to all pensioners.
No problem......we have the summary right here for your viewing pleasure........
BCE made a $400 million voluntary pension plan contribution in December 2016,
The BPG Board of Directors currently has 20 members, including six Chapter Chairs representing members in Ontario and Québec.
Some of you have inquired about what happened to the CARP/Zoomer discount for BPG members that was introduced a few years ago.
In an effort to expand our membership we need every member to help us explain our position to other potential members. The following was created to help all members in this regard.