Saskatchewan Retirees Association Inc.
Annual General Meeting Minutes
SGEU Hall, 1440 Broadway Avenue
President Alf Zimmerman called the meeting to order at 1105am and chaired the meeting. There were 83 members in attendance. A copy of the Annual Report was available to members. The President extended a welcome to all members present.
1. Adoption of the agenda:
Moved by Jack Peterson, Seconded by Bruce Weighill to adopt the agenda as presented.
2. Approval of the Minutes of the 2013 Annual General Meeting
Moved by Bob Livingston, Seconded by Diane Morgan to accept the minutes as presented.
3. President’s Report
– President Alf Zimmerman welcomed the members to the meeting and highlighted the events of the year as outlined on pages 10-12 in the Annual Report.
– Members were asked to stand to recognize members that had passed on in the past year.
– The status of the defined benefit Pension Plan was discussed with comments about the reduction in the number of pensioners receiving benefits through the defined benefit plan (from 7021 to 5912 members).
– Additional contact was attempted with the Minister of Health to discuss issues related to prescription drug fees; efforts continue to reach the Minister.
– Comments were made about the Board of Director’s efforts to consider how the reduction of defined benefit pensioners would affect membership in the SRA. Discussion papers had been developed for consideration by the Board and would be part of the breakout groups later in the meeting.
A question of clarification was raised by May Smith about the continued viability of the Government Pension Plan; the response was that the comments were directed to the SRA Health and Dental Plan’s continuation.
Chris Berg questioned about the viability of the SRA health and Dental Plan; the response was that the benefits plan would need additional new members to ensure its longer-term viability. The breakout groups were intended to seek member feedback as to the direction the Board should take to ensure the group plans continuation.
Members urged the Board to engage with the current members about joining the SRA Health and Dental Plan as well as to develop a marketing strategy to encourage new members to join the plan including a comparison to the PEBA/SGEU health plan.
Moved by Alf Zimmerman to accept the President’s report.
4. Auditor’s and Financial Report
– Frank May highlighted the Auditor’s report as presented on page 14. He mentioned that the change in auditors was due to Robert Szautner purchasing the business of the former auditor’s practice.
– It was reported that all final costs from the legal challenge had now been paid during the year. Approximately $750,000 was expended on the court action.
– It was reported that the surplus for the year was $10,242.00. Differences included added computer costs to redevelop the website, upgrades to the membership database and to shift to email communication to members instead of postage.
In response to a question, it was reported that the annual audit fee was approximately $1600.00.
The administrative fees were explained as containing a fee from GMS to the SRA for the work completed to process the application and enrolment of new members.
Moved by Frank May, Seconded by Ann Donovan to reappoint Robert Szautner as the auditor for 2014.
Moved by Jack Kloczko, Seconded by Bob Walker to accept the auditor’s report as presented.
Moved by Linda Clark, Seconded by May Smith to accept the financial report as presented.
5. Membership Committee Report
– Randy Dove reported that membership (page 22) had increased during the year as many new members from the crown corporations.
– Reference was made to the breakout groups and the need to accelerate the addition of new members from different organizations
– Efforts continue to re-engage with organizations to ensure they have information about the SRA Health and Dental Plan
– The Board was encouraged to consider more advertising activities to inform and attract new members including re-establishing regional meetings for dialogue.
Moved by Chuck Ames, Seconded by Ann Donovan to accept the Membership Committee report as presented.
6. Group Benefits Committee
– Jack Peterson reported on the SRA Health and Dental Plan (page 23-24), indicating that the claims experience of the past year was close to the target, resulting in a modest increase to premiums for 2014-15.
– The update also highlighted that the average age in the plan was lower, decreasing to 70 years, with increased enrolments of 6.3% in the extended health plan and 11.7% with the dental option.
– Special recognition was extended to the Committee members, Jack Kloczko, Alf Zimmerman, Frank May, Martin Wrubelski and Marian Brown
– A comment was made about the changes pending for federal employees benefits plans and the cost shifts that are planned. The group may be another sector for future organizational membership.
Moved by Bob Walker, Seconded by Diane Morgan to accept the Group Benefits committee report as presented.
7. Public Relations and Communications Committee
– Chris Pasloske reported on the activity of the Committee during the year (page 25), including support of the re-launch of the website and efforts to use emails to contact members to update them on events of the Association.
– In reporting, reference was made to past efforts to reach members and the shift to more targeted communications, rather than mass communications to all members.
– Linda Tate commented on the value of the general membership and encouraged them to stay involved and committed in the affairs of the Association
– Chris also commented that he planned to retire from the Committee Chair role.
Moved by Jack Peterson, Seconded by Ruby Maitland to accept the Public Relations and Communications Committee report as presented.
8. Breakout Groups:
– Alf Zimmerman spoke about changes in the environment related to the continuation of the SRA with the age of the current membership and potential rising costs of the benefit plan.
– The SRA had up to 10,000 members in the past, now has 6650 members with changes in the demographics.
– He asked the members to consider options for the future of the Association in breakout groups facilitated by Linda Clark, Bob Gawley, Randy Dove and himself.
– all four breakout groups engaged in a full discussion of the options and reported back that Option 3, a selected, controlled expansion of member eligibility should be pursued to grow the membership
– it was agreed that any new member organizations should be “publically supported organizations”
– it was pointed out that the SRA Mission Statement and the bylaws had a conflict about “non-governmental” participation that needs to be addressed
– suggestions were made to develop more comparative information about other plans to be better able to communicate to potential members in the future
– SRA was encouraged to use the newsletters etc. of other organizations to ensure that their employees understand the existence and services of the SRA including the Health and Dental Plan
– SRA should seek opportunities to attend conferences and conventions of key organizations, including the union conventions
– The President agreed to take the comments and a directional document would be shared with the membership in the near future.
9. Board of Director Elections
– Alf Zimmerman indicated that there were five nominees for the five vacancies on the Board (page 26) for a three-year term.
– Alf Zimmerman moved, Seconded by Gord Russell to accept the following nominees: Marian Brown, Bob Gawley, Jack Kloczko, Barry Dixon and Graham Tuer.
– In response to the call for nominations from the floor, Bob Walker nominated Ann Donovan, seconded by Jack Peterson; Rolli Bachelu nominated Chris Pasloske, seconded by Ron Reavley
– With the added nominees, both Jack Kloczko and Bob Gawley withdrew their nominations
– Nominees had an opportunity to introduce themselves to the members.
– Gord Russell moved than nominations cease. CARRIED
Alf Zimmerman declared the nominees elected.
10. Other Business:
– A draw was held for door prizes; Ron Reavley and Chris Paskloske’s names were drawn as the winners.
– Alf Zimmerman moved to adjourn the meeting.