In the most recent round of negotiations, there was significant discussion amongst the Membership in terms of early retirement packages and how there is a general feeling that early retirement packages will no longer exist for WLUSA Members.
Historically, when the University has faced budget constraints, an early retirement incentive program is launched as a way to reduce some costs in the long term. When faced with a similar situation in 2019 the University chose to only offer a program to the faculty. This left the many other employee groups, including WLUSA, feeling second-class in the eyes of Wilfrid Laurier University. Attempts were made by WLUSA representatives at the negotiation table in to prevent this discriminatory practice in the future. The University refused to commit to offering the program to staff, citing that it may not provide the required long-term financial savings.
Even though the University won’t commit to a “one size fits all” package, the ability for any individual Member to request an early retirement package remains an option. As your bargaining agent, WLUSA has the power to contact the employer and initiate discussions on whether a package could be created for you.
There are no guarantees that the University will agree to anything, but initiating the conversation allows managers to determine whether you leaving the position could provide them with cost savings in some regard, whether it be through restructuring or otherwise. A number of other factors could play a role as well such as length of service, vacations, health, and time of year (both calendar year and academic year).
If you are contemplating retirement in the next 12 months or less, consider contacting the WLUSA Office by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to see what your options are.