Welcome to the GENMO Salaried Pension Organization
2016 Annual General Meeting Invitation
Dear GENMO member,
You (and your spouse) are invited to attend the seventh GENMO “Annual General Meeting” (AGM) to be held at the REGENT THEATRE (50 King St East) in downtown Oshawa at 3:30 PM on Thursday, May 26 2016.
There is a municipal parking garage at King and Mary.
The agenda will include the GENMO financial statements, membership drive, pension status, and political action update.
Since the conclusion of the O’Neill vs. GMCL law suit, we assume that all of our health care benefit issues are behind us.
We continue to be very concerned about our underfunded pension, especially in light of the fact that GMCC pension fund commitments (salary and hourly) went from $200 million/year to around $1 billion/year beginning in 2015 along with declining revenues to support it.
As per our bylaws, four GENMO Directors positions are up for re-election. Current executives Mike Black, Denise Cay, Alanna Lyczba and Mike Powell have chosen to stand for re-election. If you wish to stand for election or nominate someone, please click on the nomination form link. GENMO must receive the form with the nominee’s signature by May 6, 2015, either via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to GENMO, PO Box 82555, Oshawa On L1G 7W7. All candidates’ names will be posted on the home page of the GENMO web site on May 12, 2016. If there are no other candidates the current executive will be acclaimed. If you cannot attend and wish to vote by proxy, a ballot is linked and may be mailed or brought to the meeting.
The presentations will be followed by a question and answer period. Questions may be sent to email@example.com or GENMO, PO 82555, Oshawa ON L1G 7W7.
Thank you for your continuing support.
We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
Your GENMO Executive,
Brian Rutherford Mike Powell Mike Black Denise Cay
Alanna Lyczba Lynn McCullough Garry Marnoch Al Willison
Your Area Representatives
Cher membre GENMO,
Vous et (votre épouse, époux) êtes invités à assister à la 7ième Assemblée Générale de GENMO qui se tiendra au Théatre Régent (50 rue King est) au centre ville d’Oshawa à compter de 15 :30 Jeudi le 26 Mai 2016.
Il y a du stationnement au coin des rues King et Mary
À l’agenda, rapport financier de GENMO, l’état de notre membership, la situation de notre pension et mise à jour sur notre action politique.
Depuis la fin du procès O’Neill vs. GMCL, on pense que le dossier des bénéfices de santé est derrière nous.
Par contre nous sommes inquiets pour le sous-financement de notre fond de pension, principalement à cause du fait que les obligations de GMCC sont passés de $200 millions par an à $1 milliard par an à partir de 2015 et ce, en même temps que leurs revenus pour les supporter sont à la baisse.
Selon notre chartre, 4 directeurs de GENMO viennent en réélection. Les exécutifs suivants, Mike Black, Denise Cay, Alanna Lyczba et Mike Powell veulent se représenter. Si vous désirez vous mettre en candidature ou proposer un candidat, complétez le formulaire ci-joint pour mise en nomination en cliquant sur le lien suivant formulaire de mise en candidature . Le formulaire doit arriver à GENMO et être signé par le candidat pour le 6 Mai 2016, soit par email à firstname.lastname@example.org ou par courrier à GENMO, CP 82555, Oshawa, On, L1G 7W7. Les noms de tous les candidats seront sur le site internet de GENMO pour le 12 Mai 2016. S’il n’y a pas de mise de nouveaux candidats, l’exécutif actuel sera élu par acclamation. Si vous ne pouvez vous présenter et désirez voter par écrit , un bulletin de vote est lié et peut être mallé ou livré en main-propre lors de l’assemblée.
Les exposés seront suivis par un période de questions. Les questions peuvent être soumises de façon suivante email@example.com ou mallées à GENMO, CP 82555, Oshawa, On, L1G 7W7.
Merci de votre support habituel, espérant que vous serez de la réunion.
Votre Exécutif GENMO,
Brian Rutherford Mike Powell Mike Black Denise Cay
Alanna Lyczba Lynn McCullough Garry Marnoch Al Willison
Et vos représentants régionaux
P.O. Box 82555
Oshawa Ontario L1G 7W7
Subject: Update on GENMO activities/ Mise à jour des activités de GENMO
Dear GENMO member,
We wanted to update you on GENMOs activities in the past few months and again thank you for your continued support.
The security of our pension is our primary focus. We are part of the 1.5 million Canadian families that depend on their private defined benefit pension for their income security. Security at risk due to weak Provincial and Federal legislation.
With the recent Federal election we have been concentrating on meeting with the new, generally Liberal, MPs.
To date our meetings with the new Liberal MPs have been very encouraging. So far they have all been receptive to our message and supportive. We have reviewed our concerns with, and changes we would like to see in the Corporate Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA).
To refresh your memory the two acts are quite different and require unique changes.
We have already made the case that pensions should be protected in CCAA or BIA actions. Pensions are accepted as deferred income. Unlike all other stakeholders of a company and unlike their own personal investments, pension plan members have no ability to manage the risk associated with their pension; their income security. Close to 80% of pensions regulated Federally and in Ontario are underfunded. Plan members only protection is current legislation.
The BIA is a very structured process. The change required is to modify the priority of settlement to improve the standing of pension deficits. Most provinces have Deemed Trust provisions. A deemed trust recognizes that companies have financial obligations and that these obligations should be addressed before settlements to other stakeholders. Unfortunately, deemed trusts are not recognized in Federal legislation. Therefore the BIA should be changed to ensure pension deficits are addressed in bankruptcy as a deemed trust would be; immediately after debtor in possession claims.
The CCAA allows the courts a great deal of flexibility. The focus of the courts is to prioritize preserving something of the company as an ongoing enterprise. On the surface this seems a noble and justified approach. However, allowing companies to ignore pension deficits is fundamentally unjust. The CCAA should be changed to require the courts to address and resolve any pension deficits in any action as part of the Plan of Arrangement.
We have mapped our membership to the ridings they live in. This provides a list of MPs to focus our efforts on.
At a national level, GENMO members are in 218 ridings; 117 Liberal, 66 Conservative, 29 NDP and 6 BQ. Not surprisingly our members are primarily in two provinces; Ontario (86.8%), and Quebec (7.2%). They are concentrated in five geographical areas. Using the GENMO membership data to extrapolate both hourly and salary retiree populations by geographical area reveals the following:
- Oshawa 46.5% of our members 22,320 total GM Canada retirees and 11 ridings.
- St Catharines 16.3% of our members 7,824 total GM Canada retirees and 7 ridings.
- Windsor 9.0% of our members 4,320 total GM Canada retirees and 4 ridings.
- London 8.4% of our members 4,032 total GM Canada retirees and 4 ridings.
We have, or are planning, to meet with these and other key MPs to continue to advocate for change.
The fact we have a large membership is invaluable in getting these meetings.
Nous voulons vous mettre au courant de ce qui se passe chez GENMO dans les derniers mois et aussi vous remercier de votre support continuel.
La sécurité de notre fonds de pension est notre première priorité. Nous faisons partie du 1.5 million de familles Canadiennes d’un fond de pension garanti pour la sécurité de leur revenu. Cette sécurité qui est risquée à cause de la faiblesse de nos lois provinciales et fédérales.
Suite à la dernière élection fédérale nous avons concentré notre effort sur les nouveaux députés, principalement les libéraux.
À date les rencontres avec les nouveaux députés libéraux sont très encourageantes. À date ils ont écouté notre message et nous supportent. Nous leur avons soumis nos préoccupations de même que les changements que nous aimerions voir dans la loi (CCAA) des arrangements avec les créanciers et la loi (BIA) sur l’insolvabilité et les faillites.
Pour vous rafraichir la mémoire les deux lois sont différentes et nécessitent des changements spécifiques.
Nous avons déjà fait la preuve que les pensions devraient être mieux protégées en cas de CCAA et de BIA. Les pensions sont traitées comme des revenus différés. Au contraire les autres parties prenantes d’une compagnie et des investissements personnels, les membres d’un fond de pension n’ont pas la possibilité de gérer les risques en lien avec leur fond de pension ; leur sécurité de revenu. Environ 80% des pensions gérées par le Fédéral ou l’Ontario sont sous financés. Le seul recours des pensionnés est la législation présente.
Le BIA est un processus très structuré. Il faudrait apporter le changement suivant, qui est de donner une plus forte priorité à régler le sous financement des fonds. La plupart des provinces ont des dispositions pour les fiducies. Des dispositions pour fiducie reconnaissent les obligations financières des compagnies et aussi le fait quelles doivent être adressées avant de payer d’autres créanciers. Malheureusement ces provisions ne sont pas reconnues dans la législation fédérale. Ainsi il faudrait modifier la BIA (loi sur les faillites) pour s’assurer que les déficits des fonds de pension soient considérés lors de faillite selon les dispositions des Fiducies, juste après les créanciers prioritaires.
Le CCAA donne à son tour une trop grande facilité aux tribunaux. La priorité des tribunaux est de donner avantage à préserver la survie de la compagnie. De prime à bord, ca semble une bonne approche. Par contre de permettre aux compagnies d’ignorer les déficits de fonds de pension est fondamentalement injuste. Le CCAA (entente avec les créanciers) devrait être modifié de la façon suivante pour que les tribunaux considèrent et corrigent les déficits des fonds de pension dans les arrangements avec les créanciers.
Nous avons localisé nos membres selon leur circonscription électorale. Ceci permet de savoir quels sont les membres du parlement sur lesquels nous devons nous concentrer.
Au niveau national, les membres de GENMO sont dans 218 comtés; 117 comtés libéraux, 66 conservateurs, 29 NPD et 6 BQ. La majorité de nos membres est dans 2 provinces; Ontario (86.8%) , Québec (7,2%) et concentrés dans 5 régions géographiques. En utilisant les donnés sur les membres de GENMO, nous séparons les membres à l’heure et les salariés par région géographique et voici ce que nous pouvons observer :
- Oshawa 46,5% de nos membres 22320 total GM Canada retraités en 11 comtés
- St Catherines 16,3% de nos membres 7,824 total GM Canada retraités en 7 comtés
- Windsor 9,0% de nos membres 4,320 total GM Canada retraités en 4 comtés
- London 8,4% de nos membres 4,032 total GM Canada retraités en 4 comtés
Nous avons ou allons rencontrer ces députés et aussi les plus importants membres du parlement pour continuer à faire reconnaître nos droits.
Le fait que nous ayons autant de membres est notre grande force à faire valoir nos droits.
Le Conseil de GENMO Executive
Prescription Drug Co-Pay Amount and Green Shield Policy Change re Benefit Claim Coordination
1- Several members have complained to us at firstname.lastname@example.org that their prescription drug co-pay was higher than the agreed amount ($2.00). As you may be aware, the dispensing fee is covered up to $11.00 by our plan . Shoppers Drug Mart’s fee is $11.99 so the difference is added to the co-pay amount. We have asked that their fee be reduced to $11.00 for our retirees but have not received a response. If the fee is higher than the normal co-pay amount, you should ask the pharmacist to have it reduced to the $2.00; one member had his co-pay eliminated entirely. There is a great disparity in dispensing fees. A survey in Oshawa showed: Costco $3.89 (seniors $1.89), Walmart $9.97, Loblaws $10.49, Shoppers $11.99
2- Green Shield Canada revised their Secondary Coordination of Benefit Calculation for Drugs policy last September. This change would affect spouses where one has a health insurance plan which is not Green Shield. They advised ‘If the drug claim was previously processed by another insurance/health benefit carrier, and the pharmacist submits the remaining amount to your GSC drug plan, GSC will reimburse the pharmacy up to the eligible amount’. See following example:
A plan member fills a prescription at a pharmacy and the claim is submitted to the primary plan for $120,
The primary plan pays $80
The GSC drug pricing file has an eligible price of $100 for this drug
The pharmacist submits the remaining $40 to GSC as secondary plan
GSC as secondary plan pays $20 (the difference between $100 and $80)
The excess $20 amount will no longer be reimbursed by GSC
If this is a problem for you, it might be wise to use GSC as the primary plan and then go to your other carrier to see if it will pay the difference.
Your GENMO Executive
The following appeared in the November 3, 2015 edition of the Auto Info, a publication from the Oshawa Car Plant.
“Leadership Message from Steve Carlisle- General Motors of Canada Company
I’d like to update everyone on a minor change to our company name that will happen over the next month. I want to ensure you’re not surprised if you see it, and also let you know why it’s happening. I also need your help with a few items.
Effective November 23rd, 2015, General Motors of Canada Limited will be changing its name to General Motors of Canada Company and will be making adjustments to its corporate ownership structure. These changes are part of an overall alignment of General Motors’ international operations to drive corporate efficiencies in this increasingly global environment.
This corporate reorganization does not materially change General Motors of Canada’s obligations, operations, business relationships or public commitments. The change is one part of a wider General Motors international structure organization that also involves GM’s Europe and Mexico entities. This reorganization has no impact on our optimistic outlook for our operations in Canada.
We will continue to refer to “GM Canada” as we do today; it may be referred to as “GM Canada” or “GMCC” in agreements and publications. The GM Canada logo will remain unchanged.
The new GMCC will remain an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors Company. Members of the project team will be reaching out across the organization to assist with various aspects of the name change.
We will be investigating what these changes mean and how they might affect GMCC’s pension and benefit obligations for its salaried retirees.
Ce qui suit a paru dans le numéro du 3 novembre 15, une parution d’Auto Info, publication de l’usine de voitures de Oshawa.
Message du leader de General Motors of Canada Company, Steve Carlisle.
J’aimerais faire une mise à jour mineure qui aura lieu dans le mois qui vient au sujet du nom de notre compagnie. Je veux m’assurer que vous ne serez pas surpris si vous le voyez et aussi pour que vous sachiez ce qui se produit. J’ai aussi besoin de vous sur certains points.
En effet le 23 novembre 15, General Motors of Canada Limited s’appellera General Motors of Canada Company et fera des modifications quant à la structure de sa propriété. Ces changements font parti d’une mise à jour des opérations internationales pour atteindre une efficacité corporative dans un environnement de plus en plus global.
Cette réorganisation corporative ne change matériellement rien quant aux obligations, opérations, relations d’affaires ou implications publiques de General Motors du Canada. Ce changement n’est une partie d’un plus grand changement de structure de l’organisation internationale de General Motors qui implique aussi les entités de GM Europe et du Mexique. Cette réorganisation n’a pas d’impact sur les prévisions optimistes de nos opérations au Canada.
On va continuer de dire GM Canada comme nous le faisons présentement ; on fera référence à GM Canada ou GMCC lors de parutions ou ententes. On conserve le logo actuel sans modifications.
Le nouveau GMCC demeurera une compagnie, propriété à part entière de General Motors Company.
L’équipe de ce projet sera disponible à la grandeur de la compagnie pour assister aux aléas de ce changement de nom.
Nous allons mener notre propre enquête quand à ce que ces changements peuvent entrainer quant aux obligations de la compagnie sur le régime de pension et bénéfices des retraités salariés.
Dear GENMO Member,
You should have received a letter from GMCL the week of August 2, 2015 titled “Pension Plan Funding Progress Report” dated June 2015. As per the regulation of the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) the plan sponsor (GMCL) must communicate the status of the plan every year if the plan is less than 85% funded on a solvency basis; as is the case with our plan.
The good news is that the pension is in better condition than last year. The wind up ratio has improved to 82%; however the information dated September 1, 2014 is almost one year old. A lot can happen in a year.
GMCL has made some funding claims and has attempted to explain “Option 3 Status and Funding”. We want to simplify the explanation.
In 2009 GMCL did make a $720 million prepayment into our plan using a monetary tool known as a Prior Year Credit Balance (PYCB). This was NOT a top up to the pension but rather more like a bank account that GMCL could draw on to make about 80% of their regular pension plan payments. The remaining 20% came out of GMCL revenue. The $720 PYCB did not increase funding and lead to better funding levels. It provided GM with an instrument to reduce the strain on its revenue from 2009 until the PYCB reached $0. This money (PYCB) was part of the Provincial and Federal bailout agreement.
GMCL points out that Option 3 was a short term modification to the Pension Benefits Act allowing companies to repay annual pension deficits over 10 years rather than 5 years. What GMCL does not point out is that Option 3 required the company to canvas all plan members and if more than 30% did not agree, the company has to revert to the standard 5 years. The Ontario Government and GMCL negotiated a special deal to avoid communicating with us. The salaried plan members were never asked; GENMO would never had supported it.
GMCL claims that using “Option3” “leaves GMCL with more capital to use in the business”. Despite repeated attempts by GENMO to confirm allocation, to our knowledge, none of this capital is for new product in Oshawa or St Catharines.
We applaud GMCL for committing to make their PBA required contributions to our pension plan going forward. We are cautiously optimistic that the plan will approach full solvency. With no future product commitments in Oshawa or St Catharines, we are concerned about where GMCL will find the revenue to meet their pension commitments.
GENMO continues to meet regularly with the pension regulator FSCO and the Ontario Finance Ministry to communicate our concerns to protect your pension and interests.
Your GENMO Executive
Brian Rutherford Mike Powell Mike Black Denise Cay
Alanna Lyczba Garry Marnoch Lynn McCullough Al Willison
Vous avez sans doute reçu de GMCL une lettre du 2 Août 2015, Rapport du progrès du Fond de Pension datée de Juin 2015. Selon les lois de des pensions de l’Ontario et le commanditaire d’un fond de pension (GMCL) doit faire un rapport annuel de son fond lorsqu’il capitalisé à moins de 85%; comme pour notre régime.
La bonne nouvelle est qu’il y a eu amélioration par rapport à l’année précédente. Le ratio de solvabilité est passé à 82%; par contre l’information date du 1er septembre 2014. Il peut se passer beaucoup de choses en un an.
GMCL a fait des déclarations sur la source des fonds et essayé d’expliquer l’option 3 état et capitalisation. Nous aimerions élaborer le sujet.
En 2009 GMCL a effectué un dépôt dans notre plan en utilisant un outil monétaire qui se nomme Balance de Crédit sur l’Année Précédente, BCAP. Ceci n’est aucunement un dépôt dans notre fond de pension mais plutôt comme un compte de banque dont on se sert pour faire environ 80% des paiements dans le régime. Le 20% restant est venu des revenus de la GMCL. Le BCAP de $720 n’a pas grossi la mise mais a permis de montrer une meilleure capitalisation. Ca a fourni à GMCL de réduire la pression sur ses revenus de 2009 jusqu’à ce que le BCAP tombe à 0$. Cet argent provenait de l’aide des gouvernements, Provincial et Fédéral.
GMCL fiat allusion au fait que l’Option 3 était un changement temporaire à la loi sur les pensions, permettant aux compagnies de payer les déficits de pension annuels sur 10 ans au lieu de 5 ans. Ce que la GMCL n’a pas mentionné est que selon Option 3 ils devaient consulter les bénéficiaires du plan et si 30% ou plus refusaient, la compagnie se devait de revenir à la période de 5 ans. Le gouvernement d'Ontario et GMCL a alors négocié une entente spéciale selon laquelle ils n’avaient pas à communiquer avec les retraités. Ainsi les retraités salariés n’ont jamais été consultés; GENMO se serait opposé.
Selon GMCL, utiliser l’option 3 laisse GMCL avec plus de capital à utiliser pour atteindre ses buts. Malgré plusieurs essaies de GENMO pour confirmer l’allocation, à notre connaissance, il n’y a aucun montant qui a servi pour de nouveaux produits soit à Oshawa ou à St Catherines.
Nous serions fiers que GMCL s’engage à faire ses contributions à notre fond de pension au BCAP dans le futur. Nous sommes modérément optimistes que le régime devienne complètement capitalisé. En plus qu’il n’y a aucune promesse de nouveaux modèles pour Oshawa et St Catherines et nous nous demandons ou GMCL trouvera les fonds pour payer nos pensions.
GENMO continue à rencontrer les administrateurs des régimes de pension FSCO de même que le ministre des finances de l’Ontario pour les tenir au courant de nos inquiétudes afin de protéger vos pensions de même que vos intétêts.
Votre Conseil GENMO
Brian Rutherford Mike Powell Mike Black Denise Cay
Alanna Lyczba Garry Marnoch Lynn McCullough Al Willison
Dear GENMO Member,
GENMO became a non-profit corporation in January 2009. At that time we knew we would require funding for any eventualities that would require us to retain a legal firm such as SGM. Initially we asked for an annual membership fee of $25 plus $25 for initiation. As time went on and legal fees continued to increase your fee went up to $75.
Without your financial support we never would have won our benefits lawsuit (O’Neill vs. GMCL).
As a part of the settlement, GMCL has reimbursed GENMO for all of our legal costs pertaining to the lawsuit. We are now in a very stable financial situation for any future litigation dealing with benefits and pension issues.
Due to our financial stability, the GENMO executive has decided to give members who have paid their 2014 membership fees a “membership fee holiday”. You will be receiving a letter in November with a self addressed return envelope. We want you to fill in and mail your 2015 registration as you do every year, but you will not have to send in any money (fees).
New members will pay a $25 membership fee plus $25 initiation.
Going forward, we will decide on an annual “fee” requirement that is dictated by the circumstances at that time. Remember, we will always have ongoing costs.
A full financial accounting will be given at our next AGM in May 2015.
Once again, thank you for all of your support.
Your GENMO Executive
Lynn McCullough GENMO Resignation
Dear GENMO Member,
Lynn McCullough, the GENMO Director of Legal and the Representative Plaintiff in the “O’Neill vs. GMCL” benefits lawsuit has resigned his position as a GENMO executive effective September 10, 2014 due to personal reasons.
We all owe Lynn a great debt of thanks for the countless hours he spent on behalf of the 3,200 class members and the successful outcome of the lawsuit. Lynn’s efforts and strength are the main reason we were so successful.
Lynn also was key in representing the interests of all GENMO members, including those not in the class, in both benefit and pension issues.
Lynn will still remain as the class Representative Plaintiff.
Mike Powell (GENMO VP) will take on Lynn’s duties as the Director of Legal.
Please join us in wishing Lynn all the best as he gets on with his life and enjoys a healthy and happy retirement.
Your GENMO Executive
MONTHLY HEALTH CARE CONTRIBUTION- TAX SLIP (T4A)
Your ‘monthly healthy care contribution’ amount is not shown on the tax slip (T4A) from GMCL. We attempted to have this included but GMCL claims that it cannot be done, although other auto companies itemize it. If you require this information to use as a medical expense when preparing your income tax form please contact the GM Canada Benefits Centre at 1-877-442-4625.
Your GENMO Executive
GENMO 2013 – THE YEAR IN REVIEW
This is a brief summary of the GENMO Organization’s activities and accomplishments in 2013.
GENMO’s most significant achievement was the successful outcome of the Class Action Law Suit “Joseph Michael O’Neill and General Motors of Canada Limited. GMCL appealed Justice Balobaba’s decision. The date of the Appeal is June 12, 2014.
- The Class Action law suit, was heard in The Ontario Superior Court of Justice on May 27, 28 and 29th.
Justice Balobaba was the presiding Judge;
Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP represented GENMO; Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP represented GMCL.
Buses were arranged for transportation of GENMO members.
- In July, Justice Balobaba’s decision ruled in favour of the Plaintiff on most issues
- GENMO / SGM identified some issues in the judgment that were unclear and a case conference was held with Judge Balobaba for clarification.
- GMCL appealed the decision of Justice Balobaba.
GENMO cross-appealed on several issues which were found in favour of GMCL.
In December GMCL approached GENMO to negotiate a settlement
A court date of June 12th, 2014 is scheduled for the Appeal if we are unable to reach a settlement prior to that date
GENMO executives meet monthly, usually on the second Tuesday of the month. Agendas and Minutes of the regular meetings and membership reports are sent to Area Representatives across Canada.
GENMO Area Representatives meet with members in their geographic areas
The AGM was held in May at the Regent Theatre in Oshawa.
The Pension Committee meets with a GMCL financial representative quarterly to review the performance of the Pension Plan
GENMO is a member of the Canadian Federation of Pensioners (CFP). The CFP represents over 250,000 retirees. Brian attends monthly meetings.
The Political Action Committee developed a pro-active approach to increase awareness of the impact to communities should GMCL withdraw manufacturing from Canada-
- Letter was sent to Ontario Finance Minister Sousa in June
Brian, Mike prepared tutorials and documentation for consistency when meeting with mayors and politicians at all levels
Met with the Mayor of Oshawa in September
- Letter was sent to Kevin Williams requesting information regarding the underfunding of the pension planin August and response to reply in November.
GENMO executives attended meetings with Unifor to discuss pension issues and with an administrator of the HCT in December
GENMO executives attended meetings with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)
GENMO encouraged all members to visit the Ontario Liberal Party Website and respond to their request for prioritizing issues in preparation for the upcoming election
GENMO had 3123 members in 2013.
GENMO executives and Area Representative are volunteers
- Member volunteers assist with FSCO concerns, political action, membership, legal action, communications, website and AGM
O’Neill V. GMCL COURT CASE UPDATE
THE RESTORATION OF SALARIED BENEFIT AND LIFE INSURANCE LOSSES
As you may be aware General Motors of Canada appealed the Ontario Superior Court decision of Justice Belobaba which ruled in favour of most of our issues. We cross-appealed on the few remaining items in dispute.
Our case will be heard in front of the Court of Appeals for Ontario on March 18, 2014 at Osgoode Hall. In this one day proceeding three judges will hear our case. It is expected that it will take four to six months for a decision to be released.
A somewhat similar case, Lacey verses Weyerhaeuser, in British Columbia was decided in favour of the retiree (Lacey) by the B.C. Court of Appeal back in May, 2013. Although Weyerhaeuser wanted to appeal this to the Supreme Court of Canada, the court recently denied their leave to appeal; consequently, the BCCA decision is final. This could have a major influence on our case.
P.O. Box 82555,
Oshawa, On L1G 7W7
August 7, 2013
To: Mr. Kevin Williams
President and Managing Director
General Motors of Canada
1908 Colonel Sam Drive
cc: Mr. Jeff Rolfs
Mr. Dave Courtney
GENMO Salaried Pension Organization is a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the approximate 8,000 members of General Motors of Canada Limited (GMCL) salaried pension plan.
The specific purpose of this note is to request clarification from you about GMCL's plans to fully fund the salaried pension plan.
Our members are very concerned that the wind up ratio of their pension plan has been deteriorating consistently, another 3% decline last year, while GMCL commits to make only the minimum contribution to the plan. This at the same time as GM in the United States announced it was making a $900 million contribution to the US plan, even though no payment was necessary.
GMCL has decided not to publish annual financial statements, so there is nothing in the public domain relative to GMCL's financial health. However the following facts are in the public domain; General Motors is more profitable than ever (most profitable year ever was $7.6 billion in 2011), and that General Motors is selling more vehicles than ever, 9.2 million in 2012.
For GMCL's performance, statements such as "We are focused on building a profitable business which has long-term viability, which is in the best interest of all of GM's stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, retirees, dealers and suppliers." indicate GM is doing well in Canada.
My question to you is, given General Motors financial turnaround since 2009 and the backdrop of the $900 million contribution made to the US pension plan, what is your plan to fully fund the Canadian salaried pension plan?
GENMO Salaried Pension Organization
Dear GENMO Member:
Today, Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found in favour of most of the members of the class action commenced against GM Canada. The following is found on our law firm’s web site:
“Class Action Against GM Canada Succeeds
On July 17, 2013, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted summary judgment in favour of 98% of class members represented by Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP in the matter of O’Neill v. General Motors of Canada Ltd, a class action commenced on behalf of salaried and executive retirees of General Motors of Canada Ltd. arising out of the reductions and eliminations to their post-retirement benefits over 2008-2010. The class action was certified on consent in 2011 and the case proceeded to a motion for summary judgment on the issue of whether GMCL breached its contracts with the class members in reducing/eliminating their benefits. The court agreed with SGM that GMCL was contractually obligated to provide the promised benefits, and breached its contracts with the former salaried employees by reducing and eliminating those benefits. However, the court found that GMCL was permitted to reduce the benefits of a smaller number of executive retirees because their contracts contained different language. The initial representative plaintiff, Joseph O’Neill, worked for GMCL for more than 40 years. Lynn McCullough, who became the representative plaintiff in 2012 after Mr. O'Neill passed away, worked for GMCL for 44 years. GMCL promised to provide the former salaried employees with post-retirement benefits, including healthcare and life insurance, in various documents provided to them over their careers. In 1994, GMCL began including a “reservation of rights” clause in its benefits documents, which it claimed allowed it to “amend, modify, suspend or terminate any of its programs (including benefits).” Over 2008-2010, GMCL implemented a number of reductions to the post-retirement benefits, including the elimination of semi-private hospital coverage and a severe reduction in the amount of the basic group life insurance benefit. Some class members lost over $100,000 in life insurance coverage as a result of the reductions. The court agreed with SGM that the benefits were provided to the employees as a matter of contract and as “deferred compensation” for class members’ services to GMCL. The court further found that former salaried employees would reasonably expect that the benefits provided to them were secure and would continue for life, based on the promises in the booklets. In this context, the court found that the “reservation of rights” clause language was not sufficiently clear to permit GMCL to reduce the benefits after retirement, and that more explicitly language alerting employees to the possibility of reductions after retirement was required. One third of the class retired early pursuant to early retirement agreements. The court agreed with the plaintiff that nothing in these agreements altered GMCL’s obligation to continue to provide post-retirement benefits, and found that GMCL breached the contracts of the former salaried employees when it reduced and eliminated their benefits. With respect to the executive post-retirement benefits, the court found that the language in the benefits documents was much clearer in conveying that the benefits were not guaranteed and were subject to reduction. Accordingly, the court found that GMCL could lawfully reduce the benefits of executives after the point of retirement and had not breached its contracts with the executive class members in so doing. The class members were represented by Steven Barrett and Christine Davies at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP.” We have not had a chance to study the decision in great detail but note Justice Belobaba felt that GMCL was entitled to reduce the CSERP benefit of executives. Also we have to seek clarification of paragraph 105 where he concluded “…class members that have not prevailed are ..salaried retirees who continued to work after becoming eligible to retire and were working when the impunged reductions were announced…”, In paragraph 80 he wrote “I find that GMCL was not contractually entitled to reduce the health care and basic life insurance benefits after the salaried employees had retired.” There is a timing conflict between these two paragraphs which our law firm will have to sort out. Press here for the O’Neill v. General Motors of Canada decision or see "Class action Status". Thank you very much for your support. Unfortunately the fight is not over yet. Your GENMO Executive Brian Rutherford, Mike Powell, Jan O’Neill, JoAnn Stuart, Denise Cay, Doug McDowell, Garry Marnoch, Lynn McCullough, Alanna Lyczba
GENMO AREA UPDATE MEETINGS GENMO’s executives are trying their best to communicate with all members across Canada. Because of the nature of General Motors of Canada manufacturing centres, most salaried retirees are located in southern Ontario. We also have “chapters” located in Moncton, Ste Therese and in the west mainly in the Vancouver area. Last September Lynn McCullough, Mike Powell and Garry Marnoch visited the Ste Therese membership and provided a pension and benefits lawsuit update, as well as a question and answer period. On March 20 Mike Powell visited the east coast membership in Moncton for a similar update. In the Oshawa area Brian Rutherford gives a monthly 10 minute update at the GMCL Salaried Retiree Association meetings. In April we will have update meetings in London on April 10 at 1:00 PM and in Windsor on April 11 at 10:00 AM. In May we will be having the GENMO Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 9th at 4:00 PM at the Regent Theatre in Oshawa and an update meeting in St Catharines on the 13th at 1:00 PM. We have yet to set a date for an update meeting in the west.
We hope that all GENMO members in these areas are able to take advantage of the updates to your benefits and pension. Even though our economy seems to be slowly turning the corner, these are still uncertain times. We must remain vigilant.
FEBRUARY 5, 2013 APPEAL
GMCL’s appeal regarding the production of documents issues was successful. Justice E. Morgan accepted their argument that the minutes and financial statements were not ‘contractual’ documents and therefore could not be included under the terms of the settlement agreement. This means that GMCL is not required to produce the minutes we have requested and it also means that we cannot rely on any of the minutes/financial statements we had included in a recent affidavit.
However, we still feel that we have a very strong case and will move forward with our Plaintiff Factum (by April 15) and Reply Factum (by May 15). The court will hear our case on May 27 and 28, 2013.
Recent Court Hearings
On December 20, 2012 we were in court to force GMCL to produce historical benefit plan documents and retain certain financial documents which we show in affidavits for our case. We believe that this information is important and relevant to our case. Master Glustein found in favour of us. He wrote "... I find in favour of O'Neill and order GMCL to produce corporate minutes and resolutions concerning the creation of the benefits plans at issue in the action. Similarly, I dismiss GMCL's motion to strike the DiMartile documents." Also, "I dismiss GMCL's motion to strike the Financial Statements as evidence from the O'Neill affidavit." (As you may know DiMartile is suing GMCL.) GMCL is appealing the judge's decision; this appeal should be heard this month or next.
We were in court on January 16, 2013 seeking to have GMAC retirees, and several other individuals as well, included in our class action. We were not successful as Justice Belobaba wrote "I agree with GMCL that the current class definition cannot reasonably be interpreted to include these non-GMCL retirees or GMCL retirees who retired after the end of the defined class period." He reasoned regarding the GMAC retirees that they "entered into employment contracts with GMAC ......and not with GMCL. They are not ‘retirees' of GMCL. They have no contractual claim against GMCL."
We will be working with GMAC retirees and other individuals who were not allowed into the class to determine the next course of action.
CLASS ACTION SCHEDULE
||August 20, 2012
||October 16, 2012
|Plaintiff’s Reply Record (if any)
||October 26, 2012
||May 1, 2013
||May 15, 2013
|Motion Dates (in front of Justice Belobaba)
||May 27,28 2013
ALL SALARIED RETIREES AND ACTIVE EMPLOYEES MUST BE VIGILANT OF THEIR VESTED INTERESTS:
General Motors Corporation has forsaken their Salaried Retirees in the United States. At age 65, retirees lose all of their meagre benefits except for their $10,000 life insurance policy. They are now losing their "defined benefit" pensions to a choice of a lump sum payment or an annuity with the Prudential Insurance Corporation. Active salaried employees were forced into a ‘defined contribution' benefit plan. Seniors now have to become amateur actuaries to decide on what is best for them and their families. No matter what the choice is, they will lose. So much for loyalty and hard work; GM wants all "legacy costs" off of their books.
General Motors Corporation has forsaken the Active Salaried Employees at GMCL. In 2013 the "defined benefit" pension will be grandfathered and a "defined contribution" pension will be unilaterally forced on them. Employees who retire after June 1, 2014 will lose all of their benefits at age 65. So much for loyalty and hard work; GM wants all "legacy costs" off their books.
GMCL Salaried Retirees are suing the Company for lost benefits, including life insurance. Back in 2009, GENMO saw the writing on the wall and decided to push back at GMCL's never ending, unilateral benefit takeaways. GM wants all "legacy costs" off the books. Although the court case is progressing slowly, we feel very positive about winning the class action.
From the GMCL Salaried Employees Actuarial Valuation as at September 1, 2011, provided by Towers Watson, the pension plan is 79% funded. Starting on September 14, 2015, GMCL has five years to fully fund the pension plan (September 1, 2019) as per Regulation321/09 of the Pension Benefits Act.
At this time we do not know GMCL's long term plans for the current ‘defined benefit' pension plan for all current retirees. We do know that GM wants all "legacy costs" off their books.
Be very vigilant. Your continued support for GENMO is appreciated.
contact GENMO at email@example.com or P.O. Box 82555, Oshawa, ON L1G 7W7
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GENMO Salaried Pension Organization is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the protection of the pensions, benefits and other common interests of its members and surviving spouses. It is neither sponsored nor endorsed by General Motors of Canada.
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