Q1: Who are you?
A: Our name is the Pensioners’ Chapter of the Society of Energy Professionals. We are a self-funding organization with its own budget, bank accounts and financial obligations.
Q2: What is the purpose of the Chapter?
A: The prime objective of the Chapter is to further the interests of the Society of Energy Professionals’ pensioners and of the Society itself. In order to do this, the Chapter may:
- Promote, encourage, foster and defend the principles of democracy in the economic, social and political life of Canada for Pensioners and their spouses.
- Monitor collective bargaining trends, social, economic, educational, legislative and political events of interest to Pensioners and their spouses.
- Provide support and/or resources when requested by the Society.
- Publish and distribute printed material as may, from time to time, be desirable to further the aims and objectives of the membership.
- Collect and document the concerns of the Chapter.
- Petition legislators for the introduction and enactment of legislation on measures to improve the health and welfare of all retired persons. All such petitions should have the prior approval of the Executive of the Chapter.
- Co-operate with other organizations with similar objectives.
- Make representations to the Local Vice-Presidents, Executive Board and Society Council on behalf of Chapter members’ concerns.
A: Membership of the Chapter is available to any retired member in good standing, of a bargaining unit, which is represented by the Society of Energy Professionals, Society staff, and their spouses; widows and widowers of retired members. A person who was a Society member but prior to retirement held a position which was removed from the Society jurisdiction may join as an Associate Member. That person may have his/her name advanced by a member of the Executive Committee for consideration of becoming a Chapter Associate Member. An Associate Member is entitled to all the privileges listed in the Chapter By-laws except under Section 2.2.1 (b) and 2.2.3. However, the Associate Member may be appointed to serve on committees.
Q4: Which companies have Society members?
- AMEC NSS (Nuclear Safety Solutions): Privately held nuclear industry consultancy
- Brookfield Power Trust: Subsidiary of Great Lakes Power, who bought the Mississagi River system from OPG
- Bruce Power: Ontario's largest private nuclear operator
- Electrical Safety Authority (ESA): Enforces public electricity safety in Ontario
- Hydro One: Ontario's largest public transmission and distribution company
- Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO): Operates Ontario's electricity system
- Inergi: Owned by CapGemini, IT and back-office functions spun off from Hydro One
- Kinectrics: Electricity industry research and engineering services
- New Horizon System Services (NHSS): Owned by CapGemini, IT functions spun off from OPG
- Ontario Energy Board (OEB): Ontario's regulator of natural gas and electricity utilities
- Ontario Power Generation (OPG): Ontario's public generation utility
- Toronto Hydro: Toronto's municipal electrical utility
- Vertex Outsourcing: U.K.-based customer management outsourcer
Q5: When and where is the (Annual) General Meeting held?
A: The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Pensioners’ Chapter is held every year prior to the Society Council Meeting, usually scheduled during the 2nd week of May. Since its inception in 2005 the meetings have been held in the City of Toronto, mainly because of the vast majority of current members living within the Greater Toronto Area.
Q6: Why have Society pensioners being basically ignored over the years?
A: It is only recently that, at the initiative of some retired members, The Society has begun to recognize the importance of its retired members. This was begun with the formation of the Pensioner’s Chapter in 2005. The Pensioner’s Chapter Executive has been working at building an appropriate relation between the Pensioners and the Society. This has not been a simple task. It has also taken time to recruit new members and raise funds through annual dues. The Chapter Executive has recognized the need for improved communications with its members and has already initiated a work program to provide members with Chapter Updates, at least, on a quarterly basis starting in 2007. As our membership grows, we hope to have representatives of the Executive attend local events such as in Kincardine and/or Port Elgin; hopefully on a regular basis to be on hand to discuss any of the members’ issues or concerns.
Q7: What are the Annual Dues being used for?
A: The annual fee has been/will be used for:
- The Annual General Meeting (e.g., room rental, refreshments, printing and material).
- Communication initiatives. One of the initiatives of the Executive is to improve communications by distributing a Chapter newsletter (i.e., Update) at least quarterly. Currently, 24% of our members do not have an e-mail account. Consequently, the Updates will have to be printed and mailed via Canada Post. As our membership grows so will the cost of distributing communications to our members.
- Development and maintenance of the website. These costs have been kept to a minimum by purchasing only one web design software to date.
- Membership to organizations that represent pensioner interests, such as the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada (CURC).
- An outreach program to members and potential members in regions outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) will need to be implemented if the Chapter is to grow and have a strong voice. Travel expenditures for this initiative will need to be covered by the Chapter. Currently, the volunteer Executives are from the GTA, and most activities are planned within the GTA. Consequently, to date there has been no requirement by the Chapter to reimburse travel costs for Chapter business conducted by the Executive.
- Administrative costs (e.g., printing of application/flyer, membership drive letters, postage, and office stationery such as envelopes, paper, labels, receipt book and stamp, etc.)
Q8: Is it true that Chapter representatives have no voting rights at Society Board and Society Council meetings?
A: Yes, the Pensioners’ Chapter representative who sits at Society Board and Society Council meetings have no voting rights. However, we can speak to any motion, making sure that the pensioner’s perspective is heard. We can add agenda items of concern to the pensioners, and most importantly we can move motions. This means that we can bring our issues forward and be heard. To date we have gotten two important motions passed that deal with our right to have input into the bargaining process at its initiation and to have a representative at joint management/Society pension meetings. It is important to note that the steady growth of members has strengthened our voice.
Q9: Which Chapter member attends Society Board meetings?
A: The Chapter President or designate attends Society Board meetings.
Q10: Who do I contact if I’m interested in becoming a member of a Committee?
A: Please Phone: (416) 979-2709 ext 4000 Toll Free: 1-866-288-1788 ext 4000 Fax: (416) 979-5794 or send an e-mail.
Q11: When does health and dental benefits coverage cease for over-age dependants?
A: In the case of Ontario Power Generation's (OPG's) Health and Dental Plan, coverage ceases as of the child's 24th birthday, or if criteria (i.e., continued coverage after their 19th birthday, dependant children must be: - unmarried, AND unemployed AND attending school full time up to and including 23 years of age) is not satisfied." Unless a student (e.g., college or university) who is under the age of 24 is absolutely certain that he/she plans to attend full time school following his/her graduating year, coverage ends on the day of the last scheduled class; not on the last day of writing final exams.
Non-OPG pensioners who are uncertain of the date when coverage ceases for their over-age dependants should contact their company Human Resources representative or Great-West Life.
Note: To maintain coverage, you must submit an update of the Over-Age Dependant Enrollment form every 6 months.
Q12: What personal information does the Chapter keep about its members and what is it used for?
A: The Chapter maintains a database that includes the name, member class (Regular or Associate), home address, home e-mail address, telephone number, name of company last employed and fees paid while they are members. This information is used primarily to generate a mailing list for our Chapter Update newsletter which is currently issued on a bi-monthly basis since May 2007. Through The Society's Affinity Programs, the Chapter may provide a mailing list to a company for the mailing of promotional and information materials describing their products and services. To date the Chapter has provided only one company a mailing list (July 2007). As of October 2007, the Chapter established a strict policy of not releasing Chapter members’ personal information (includes but not limited to telephone numbers, mailing and e-mail addresses) without their prior consent.