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Dave Lewington Retires – Dec 4th, 2015 Party

Hi Everyone,

Some  pictures from Dave Lewington’s retirement party – Dec. 4th, 2015.
Photo credit: Peter Szperling, UNIFOR 715M

ATTENTION: Pension and benefits enhancements ahead

Hi everybody,

I am excited to tell everyone about a number of upcoming changes that will enhance benefits coverage for team members across Bell and offer a broader range of investment choices within our Defined Contribution (DC) pension plan.

Many of these improvements are the direct result of feedback we have heard from plan members and are designed to reflect the needs of the Bell team and their families today.

These changes will take effect on January 1, 2016 and will apply to all Bell management team members, as well as a large segment of non-management and unionized team members. Some unionized groups will require discussions with union leaders before the changes can be extended to members.

Typically at this time of year, you are asked to re-enroll and make coverage selections in Omniflex. This year, enrollment will shift to November just in advance of the new program launch in January 2016. Until then, your current coverage remains in effect and any flex dollar credits will be prorated until the end of the year.

In November, you will receive complete details about the new benefits and pension program along with online tools and opportunities to join education sessions to ensure you understand and can take advantage of all the improvements.

Here are a few program highlights

  • Enhanced Omniflex benefits program
    Our new Omniflex program will include coverage for services such as orthodontics and dental treatment based on the most current 2016 fee guide, as well as an expanded list of professional services including massage therapy and home delivery of maintenance prescription drugs. You will also have access to additional flex dollars and new optional coverage such as critical illness insurance.
  • Omniflex enrollment for 2015
    We are adjusting the Omniflex plan year to a calendar year, running from January 1 to December 31. As a result, enrollment for any team member on Omniflex will shift to November this year.

    For 2015, team members will remain on their current plan and credits will be pro-rated accordingly. In case of required life event changes such as the addition of a new dependent or beneficiary, exceptions can be made. Please review the Q&A for a summary of exceptions.

  • Defined Contribution Pension plan improvements
    Improvements to our DC pension plan will include an increased voluntary maximum employee contribution from 4% to 12% and offer more investment options and opportunities to diversify.
  • New elements for Bell Aliant Central, Télébec and NorthernTel
    These team members can take advantage of our existing Group Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), the ability to transfer Employees’ Savings Plan shares to the Group RSP or TFSA, and reimbursement of services provided by psychologists and social workers up to a maximum of $1,500 per year for each person covered by your plan. These changes are effective in July 2015.

A comprehensive overview of the new program will be available to all Bell team members later this year. If you have any questions please refer to the Q&A or call the Benefits Administrator at 1-888-391-0005.

Bell has always been a leader in providing comprehensive benefit and pension plans to our team and we are proud of our continued improvements as we move forward together!

Thank you

Bernard Le Duc

Positions up for re-election

Notice that the following positions are up for re-election on the Local 715-M Executive Board:

Position Term Currently Held By
Vice-President July 1.2015 – June 30.2017 Marlene Pauly
Master Steward July 1.2015 – June 30.2017 Ian Urbach

Nomination forms can be obtained from Ben Coles. The nomination form must be signed by 5 members in good standing with the Local.

The closing date for nominations will May 10th, 2014. The names of the members will be posted 5 days later before the call for election.

Note: Each member can only sign one nomination form. In the event there is more than one nomination, each nomination must be signed by 5 unique members.

 Ben Coles

Election Chair

FOUND: Health and Safety Representative

UPDATE: Thanks to Shaun Vardon for stepping up to be our local’s new Health and Safety Representative for the building’s Joint Health and Safety Committee.      If you have any health or safety issues, please make Shaun aware.   Shaun will attend the monthly meetings.

First of all, I’d like to thank Tyler Fleming for his service as our local’s Health and Safety Rep with the company for the past three years.

Tyler has stepped down, and we need someone to be a union / employee rep on behalf of UNIFOR 715M.

The Joint Health and Safety Committee meets about once a month.    Is anyone interested in becoming our rep?

Any commitment to the committee would be during work hours.


Let me know.


In Solidarity,



Press Release: No quality without quantity

TORONTO, March 12, 2015 /CNW/ – Today’s decisions from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) threaten the quality of local programming available to Canadian viewers, Unifor says.

“Canadians rely on quality locally produced programming to inform them about their communities and the issues that affect their lives,” Unifor Media Director Howard Law said.

The CRTC has dramatically eliminated minimum daytime Canadian programming hours in the name of quality over quantity, but done nothing to address what it has identified as a key concern – the quality of local Canadian programming, Law said. By cutting the number of hours, the opportunities for creative new shows will be limited.

“The Commission’s deregulatory direction into ‘quality over quantity’ has intuitive appeal, but there is no quality without quantity,” Law said.

“Eliminating daytime exhibition requirements for Canadian content may well sideswipe the creation of local news, information and entertainment programming. The Commission did nothing for local programming today.”

At the same time, the CRTC allows Netflix to operate regulation-free and outside Canadian content rules, but tells Canadian broadcasters such as Bell, Rogers and Shaw they can’t restrict sales of their own streaming services to conventional TV customers.

“The CRTC continues to give Netflix a free pass on creating and broadcasting Canadian content, while Canadian companies carry that responsibility on their own,” said Unifor Media Council Chair Randy Kitt. “Netflix isn’t shy about collecting subscription fees in Canadian dollars and repatriating them to the US, so why do they continue to get a free pass?”

And while Unifor applauds the CRTC for bringing in rules to ensure that news channels provide a minimum amount of original journalism, which should prevent the establishment of opinion-only channels like those in the U.S., Unifor believes more is needed in this area to ensure that Canadians receive quality journalism.

“A functioning democracy requires an informed citizenry,” Kitt said. “News outlets need to provide the staff resources necessary to bring independent and professional journalism to their audiences.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers, including 13,000 in the media sector. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


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