Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Chapter of the Retired Members Guild
Minutes of the 7th Annual General Meeting

Date: October 25, 2018

Location: Katz’s Deli, 3300 Dufferin Street, Toronto

In attendance:
Acting President: Aron Wolfson
Treasurer: Lester Brown
Secretary: Soon Yee
Member-at-Large: Fred Conway

38 members

Absent: Member-at-Large: Milad Mathias

Opening of the Meeting

The meeting commenced at 12:20 pm
Aron Wolfson welcomed everyone and introduced the GTA Executive, Michael Forbes and Terry Sing.

The agenda was presented. Soon Yee moved that the agenda be adopted. Al Stackle seconded the motion. Carried.



Lester Brown introduced Heather Duff who replaced our scheduled speaker, CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn, who regrettably could not attend. Heather presented a very informative presentation on long-term health care in Ontario.

It is in a state of crisis as exemplified by:

  • A long waiting list to access long-term health care facilities
  • the high ratio of patients to workers in those facilities resulting in inadequate personal service to the patients
  • increasing incidences of violence by patient against patient or patient against health care worker

CUPE has been asking its members to contact their MPP’s to urge the Ontario government to proceed with Bill 13, the Time to Care Act which, if passed, would require all long term care homes in Ontario to provide “minimum care standards”. These standards would be of benefit to both patients as well as health care workers.

Bill 13 had reached second reading in 2017 but has been stalled following the recent regime change in the Ontario government.

Heather then described the Butterfly Program which is a novel approach first implemented in Canada by a Peel Region long-term care facility. This program calls for the health care workers to interact with dementia patients in a more compassionate and caring manner. Furthermore, this program encourages the tailoring of daily activities to each patient’s interests as well as a stimulating environment by the use of wall colour, decor, etc. The result of the Butterfly Program was win/win as:

  • the dementia patients felt loved and were stimulated
  • the health care workers were happier and derived more satisfaction from their work (less sick leave taken)

Other health care facilities in Ontario have recently adopted the Butterfly Program and it is hoped that more facilities will follow suit.

This subject was very relevant to the members in attendance as some currently have parents in Long-Term Care facilities while others were cognizant of the possibility that they themselves in the not too distant future may require long-term health care. The presentation was well-received as evidenced by the multitude of questions from the floor.


Aron Wolfson, Acting President of the GTA Chapter


Aron mentioned that the government has stated that it will not to proceed with Bill C-27 (the federal government’s proposal to convert certain pension plans from a defined benefit plan basis to a target pension plan basis). This was good news, however Aron advised members to stay vigilant as there was no admission by the federal government that Bill C-27 has died, but instead appears only to be held in abeyance.


Aron read from a UTE (Union of Taxation Employees)/PSAC document which indicated that the federal government has agreed to increase certain benefit “maximums” payable under their dental plan. Aron has recently spoken to John Staric, PIPSC Pension and Benefits Officer who mentioned that although UTE/PSAC has already agreed to new dental plan terms, PIPSC is still in negotiation with a December 2018 target date for completion. It is hopeful that PIPSC will receive similar improvements.

John Staric also mentioned that there could be upward movement to the age 70 limit with respect to the Service Plus travel insurance “top-up”.

With respect to the Health Care Plan, the negotiations are still underway and we are still awaiting developments.


Soon Yee introduced Michael Forbes who updated us on issues discussed at the RMG National Office:

  • Michael reiterated that Bill C-27 is not dead, but dormant, and that we should remain watchful.
  • With respect to the Dental plan negotiations, Michael clarified that UTE/PSAC settlement dates differ from PIPSC in that the former is insured by Great-West Life whereas PIPSC is insured by both Great-West Life (active employees) and Sun Life (retirees). However he anticipates that PIPSC will receive similar terms as the dental plan is national in scope and is a self-insured plan with the insurers operating in an administrative-services-only capacity.
  • A few proposed By-Laws will be discussed at the November 1st, 2018 National RMG AGM:
    • Newly elected National Executive members shall take office January 1st following the announcement of the election results
    • The National Guild Executive shall select officers from their elected members as the first order of business at the first Guild Executive meeting after January 1st.
    • Each chapter shall be permitted to send their chapter President or designate to attend the Guild AGM, the costs of which may be covered by PIPSC
  • The RMG is fighting for its members to remain relevant to PIPSC. For example, several groups have voted not to have RMG participation.
  • The RMG National Office has initiated a recruitment and retention drive of new retirees.
  • Phoenix problems are still unresolved. For RMG members, pension benefits fortunately have not been affected as pensions are not paid by the Phoenix system. However, retirees have been experiencing problems caused by Phoenix in the areas of severance pay, holiday pay and contract settlements. There is a “Phoenix problems hot-line” on the PIPSC website for our members to call if they require assistance.
  • It is the 100 year anniversary of PIPSC and the RMG has assisted in the area of archival research.
  • PIPSC National Elections (non-RMG) are now taking place. The members were encouraged to vote for candidates who have been supportive of the RMG.

Approval of Minutes of Last Year’s AGM, November 3, 2017

Secretary, Soon Yee had previously emailed copies of the subject minutes to the membership for review. Nazar Ahmad moved that the minutes be accepted. Ron Jonikas seconded the motion. Carried.

Approval of the Financial Statements as of December 31, 2017

Secretary, Soon Yee had previously emailed copies of the subject financial statements to the membership for review. Treasurer, Lester Brown discussed the Chapter’s financial statements as of December 31, 2017. Mike Stoyka moved that the financial statements be accepted. Al Worth seconded the motion. Carried.

Election of GTA Chapter Executives

Fred Conway, Member-at-Large, conducted the election as Chair of the Election Committee. Fred cited the GTA Chapter By-Laws for the mandate to hold an election in 2018 for the positions of GTA Chapter President, Secretary and Treasurer as their three year terms have expired. Fred Conway delivered a Report of the Nominating Committee which named Aron Wolfson, Soon Yee and Lester Brown as nominees for the positions of President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

Position of President of the GTA Chapter

There were no further nominations and Aron Wolfson was thereby elected President by acclamation.

Position of Secretary of the GTA Chapter

There were no further nominations and Soon Yee was thereby re-elected Secretary by acclamation.

Position of Treasurer of the GTA Chapter

There were no further nominations and Lester Brown was thereby re-elected Treasurer by acclamation.

Fred concluded by stating that the VP position had become vacant as a result Aron's election as President (prior to today’s AGM, Aron Wolfson was Acting President, but substantively Vice-President). Fred cited Chapter By-Law (6.7.2) which states that, in the event of such a vacancy, the remaining members of the Executive may select an eligible member of the Chapter to fill that vacancy until the next election (scheduled for 2019) and that this would be the plan unless the Assembly objected. No objection was raised.

New Business

Nazar Ahmad noted that food prices at Katz’s have increased to the point that the $18 subsidy was insufficient. Nazar felt that an increase in the subsidy was appropriate. This was duly noted by the Chapter Executive.

Door Prize Draw

Soon Yee conducted the draw for door prizes. Thank you to Terry Sing for providing the gifts.


The meeting ended at approximately 2:30 p.m.