I am pleased to report that recent claims experience in both our Long Term Disability and Group Life Insurance plans has been quite good. As a result, the LTD premium paid by employees is being reduced from 1.17% of salary to 0.75% effective May 1, 1997. Group life insurance premiums were reduced last September, and for the next few years the employer premium will not be a taxable benefit to employees.The provost provided a list of committee members, as follows (one typographical error has been corrected):
Pension Fund investment returns of 17% and 20% in the past two years have produced a funding excess of more than $37 million at the end of 1996. This is in addition to the funds required for the Special Early Retirement Program (SERP) during 1996. The funding excess will likely grow in 1997 because the actuarial valuation uses a three-year average rate of return. If the funding excess were to exceed $47 million, legislation would require UW to stop contributing. The Pension and Benefits Committee has concluded that part of the funding excess should be used to reduce contribution levels, and part to improve future pensions.
Yesterday, the Board of Governors Executive Committee approved a P&B Committee recommendation to reduce pension contribution levels by half, starting May 1, 1997. The reduction is for three years, subject to annual review by the P&B Committee. It will save pension plan members between 2.4% and 3% of salary annually, with no effect on the pension benefit accrued. The University will contribute 133% of aggregate employee contributions as previously agreed, but because aggregate employee contributions are lower, there will also be savings of $3.3 million in the operating budget. This will help prevent further budget cuts and loss of faculty and staff positions.
The P&B Committee is discussing possible pension improvements, and plans to make recommendations to the Board of Governors in October, with changes being retroactive to May 1, 1997. I encourage you to discuss your suggestions with members of the Committee, or send them to Trenny Canning, Secretariat, NH (e-mail: email@example.com).
At this week's meeting there will be two main speakers. One is Bipasha Choudhury, the student who represented UW on the "Team Canada" trip to Asia early this year. The other is Ken McLaughlin of St. Jerome's College, the university historian, who will talk about UW's beginnings and particularly the early days of co-op education in Canada.
Says Patti Cook, UW's waste management coordinator: "This annual forum provides an educational workshop on energy and environmental management. It is designed to bring people together from commercial business and industry, to examine new technologies, and exchange ideas on how to save dollars and resources. Many suppliers will be exhibiting their energy and environment efficient products and services and will be available for consultation."
Smith is "a well-known futurist", according to publicity for the event, and is a frequently-quoted expert on the economy of the Waterloo area. (And I see that he's speaking at St. Jerome's College next Monday on "The Future of Work".) Besides his talk, tomorrow's forum offers sessions on industrial energy consevation, private-public infrastructure partnerships, "water efficiency in the commercial sector", the ISO14,000 standards, and similar matters. The $20 registration fee includes lunch and refreshments. More information: Tracey Geisen at the Kitchener & Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, 576-5000.
He is visiting Waterloo as part of a Churchill Fellowship to discuss research on utility-based water efficiency programs in North America and Europe. He is the principal Australian doing water efficiency consulting and research, he also has worked on ecological sanitation, sustainable futures, solid waste, transport and energy efficiency and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Australia and on South Sea islands.
A number of his initiatives have resulted in technological responses to unusual political and economic circumstances. For example, a Kalgoorlie-Boulder water efficiency program was initiated because of a Western Australian political decision to make water prices uniform across the state despite huge differences in the cost of providing it. This meant that the Kalgoorlie-Boulder gold fields area in the eastern part of the state was paying the same water rate as Perth, even though the water was being transported across the state almost from Perth at a cost several times higher than for Perth. The water efficiency program included gifts of efficient appliances to people living in the area, but produced a less than optimal economic solution.
Can't say today's showers thrill me, but perhaps spring will come -- and at least we haven't had the kind of water that's hit some places. Try the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks, for instance, in the centre of the newsmaking Red River flooding. (I note with interest that a mainframe computer, rescued from floodwaters at Grand Forks, has been "reassembled" at North Dakota State University at Fargo, with the result that 12,000 people who work in higher education across the state will have their paycheques processed on time.)
Today is the National Day of Mourning for workers killed and injured on the job. It's also the first day of campaigning towards the June 2 federal election, called yesterday by prime minister Jean Chrétien.
April 28, 1966: A joint committee is set up to study possible affiliation between the Ontario College of Optometry and the University of Waterloo. April 28, 1977: A draw for the new "Wintario" lottery is held in the Humanities Theatre.
Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
firstname.lastname@example.org -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
Comments to the editor | About the Bulletin | Friday's Bulletin
Copyright © 1997 University of Waterloo