TRAMTelephone Retirees Association of Manitoba

AGM 2015-05-26 Minutes





Minutes of the 15th Annual General Meeting of the Telephone Retirees Association of Manitoba Inc. (TRAM) held on Tuesday, May26th, 2015 at the Heritage Victoria Community Club, 950 Sturgeon Rd. Winnipeg, MB.


  1. The meeting was called to order at 1:00  p.m. by President Dave Gnutel


  1.  Mr. Tony Leonard was asked and agreed to lead in the singing of O Canada


  1. President Dave Gnutel asked for “A Moment of Silence”, to observe the lives of         members/beneficiaries who passed away in 2014.


4.   Report of the Chief Scutineer

Susan Bilyk reported the following attendance numbers:


 Members attending    84      

 Proxies sent in            193


Total                            277                                         


Based on the total number of members named Susan Bilyk declared the meeting Legally Constituted.


5.  Minutes of May 27th, 2014


Moved by Glen McCoubrey, seconded by, Jack Auboud, to approve the amended minutes of the May 28th, 2014 Annual General Meeting.                                                                                                 CARRIED


6.   Financial Report


Moved by Roberta Davis, seconded by, Wray Yeomans to receive the audited financial report for 2014.



Roberta Davis gave a short report on the status of the “Recovered Funds”


Total Legal expenses paid                                     $ 302,434.00

Total Actuarial expenses paid                               $   12,528.81

Total funds given into the “Trust Account”         $194,904.97



Roberta Davis gave a report of the 2015 budget.

As there were no questions on this nor any decent placed this item was agreed to without vote.


Moved by, Roberta Davis, seconded by, Susan Bilyk to appoint Jo-Anne Pelzer and Linda Kszwisko as auditors for 2015.                                                                                                               CARRIED                                                                       




7. Committee Reports


7a. Dave Gnutel reported that there was an overall decrease in membership of 70 members, as well there was an increase of 17 “active” members for 2014 for a total of 2696 members


7b. James Burr reported that there has been an average of 1000 visits/ month to the web site. Also noted, that there was a peak of 1500 to 2000 hits on the site, directly after the notice of the settlement was published. James asked the membership to send the board any suggestions to improve the web site.

A question was asked concerning posting the boards minutes on the web site. James informed the membership that this would create privacy concerns as the public has access to the minutes. Dave agreed to look into some sort of compromise


7c. Dave Gnutel, gave a report on the proposed distribution of Recovered Legal and Actuarial funds. He outlined the discussions the board had over this topic and pointed out the difficulties that would incur in order to locate the “none locates” and estates.


7d, Dave reported on meetings held with STRATA concerning health benefits and rates. Dave reported that there will be a rate increase to the parts of the plan.

Plans B & C will see no changes

Dave also reported that we have an opportunity to have a solid input into the plan from the members of TRAM. This is a plan that is currently being worked on with all parties.

Question: Why can’t members get back into the plan once out or were never in? Dave reported that changes to how the plan could be changed were being looked into at Blue Cross. Notification of any changes would be sent out to the membership when possible.



7. E After a brief report on last years’ Christmas luncheon Roberta Davis asked for volunteers to organize this year’s event. Both Bill Hales and Susan Bilyk agreed to help with this.


8. Pension Plan Committee Report


Larry Trach gave a brief report on the state of the pension plan.


Pension plan committee members for 2015-2016 as listed,


Rod Pennycook (Chair) - Retired (formerly with The Great-West Life Assurance Company)

Paul Beauregard - Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary

Bob Linsdell - TEAM Representative

Debbie Marantz - UNIFOR Representative

Brenda McInnes - Vice-President & Treasurer

Don Rooney - Director Labour Relations

Don Senkow - IBEW Representative

Laurie Stewart - Director Operations – Consumer

Larry Trach Retiree Representative


Larry reported that the many people who worked with Towers Watson and the CCSB on the “Implementation Committee” should be given a big vote of thanks for all the work done on our behalf.

He noted that MTS and CCSF are still looking for un located and estates. There are still 1907 eligible exited plan members, estates, etc. still to be paid out.  (Worth $13,399,086.00)


Larry reported that as usual the Pension Plan report will come out in July of this year.


Larry gave a brief report on the “Cal Halstead” lawsuit.

It was pointed out that:


The lawsuit was ruled on and closed out in 2014

TRAM was never a party to this law suit. All support for Cal was from TEAM


A question was asked as to why the date of 2007 was agreed to?

Again Larry pointed out that this whole question was between TEAM MTS and Cal Halstead. It was a joint agreement reached in order to move the larger Pension Plan settlement ahead.


A request was made to have a final audit done on the “Pension Settlement” in 2017.

Larry pointed out that Towers Watson were continually auditing the process but would none the less look into the request.


A break was called at 2:35


The meeting was again called to order by Dave Gnutel at 3:00


9. Presidents Report

As it was felt that time was now running out Dave declined to give a report in order to bring the motions concerning the “Recovered funds” to the floor.


10. Election of Officers


Moved by,    Susan Bilyk seconded by, Dave Gnutel, to receive the nominations committee report as circulated.                                                                                                                                CARRIED




  Moved by Larry Trach, seconded by, Dave Gnutel, to nominate Susan Bilyk to the position of 3rd vice president.


As it was agreed that no further nominations were forthcoming the vote was called for and the motion carried


 Mr. Dave Gnutel confirmed that the slate of officers as presented to the membership was duly elected.


 He then introduced the slate of officers for 2014-2015 to the membership.


President:                  Dave Gnutel,   

1st Vice President:     Larry Trach

 2nd Vice President:   James Burr

 3rd Vice President:   Susan Bilyk

 Secretary:                 Glen McCoubrey,

Treasurer:                 Roberta Davis,

 Past President:         none at this time.







New Business


1. Motion


Moved by, Glen McCoubrey, seconded by, Al Kutryk, to approve the committee report on dispersal of “Recovered funds” from the “Legal Trust Fund”                                                          CARRIED




Whereas, TRAM received an unexpected rebate of legal funds as ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada in their recent ruling regarding our outstanding claim for pension funds, and


Whereas , the TRAM executive felt that some recovered funds from the original “ Legal Trust Fund” should be offered to those who contributed to  the “Trust Fund” and wish to receive some rebate of their donations and,


Whereas the TRAM executive felt it was prudent to limit said funds due to future requirements, therefore,


The TRAM executive recommends that the membership approve the following:


Move that TRAM will rebate an amount of no more than $120.000 of recovered funds to members who contributed to the original “Legal Trust Fund”.

The following stipulations will apply


1. Anyone who contributed less than $100.00 after dues have been settled will not be rebated.

2. Anyone who wishes a rebate will have to do so in writing returned and postmarked no more than 90 days from the mailing of the notice.

3. Any dues or other fees will be deducted from the total amount of the rebate.

4. Rebates will be calculated on a pro-rata basis, based on the contribution amount of each member who qualifies and requests a rebate  


After a brief but very acrimonious discussion with Mr. Leonard as to how to handle the “Recovered” funds it was decided to withdraw this motion in favour of the motion circulated as a “notice” to the membership.


Moved by Mr. T. Leonard, seconded by, Mr. T. Scoles, that the motion on disbursal of “Recovered Trust Funds” as circulated with the notice of meeting, should be brought to the floor.


1. Motion

Notice of Motion TRAM AGM May 26, 2015


Distribution of Recovered Legal and Actuarial Funds



The legal fees that were expended to successfully sue MTS were returned to the Unions and TRAM after the Supreme Court decision, and



The Unions had funded the lawsuit on behalf of their members therefore the monies went back in their coffers. Their members were not financially out of pocket, and



TRAM members paid these funds out of pocket, which represented approximately 12% of the total legal fees throughout the trials and appeals, and



The Unions paid the counsel fee granted to the D’Arcy Deakin Law firm on behalf of their members, and



TRAM members and retiree beneficiaries were individually assessed 1.8% of their allocated benefits to pay their share of the D’Arcy Deakin counsel fee,



Be it resolved that TRAM refund the members who contributed to the Trust Fund the total amount contributed less $50.00.   May it further be resolved that those who contributed $50.00 or less have their contribution retained by TRAM.


This notice of motion is presented by Past Presidents of TRAM Tony Leonard and Ted Scoles.




Moved by Susan Bilyk, seconded by, Roberta Davis, that the motion contain a “sunset clause” so that after two years if members have not been found and reimbursed (if required) TRAM will stop looking for them  and all unclaimed funds to be put into the TRAM operating account).                                           CARRIED


After a further brief discussion the amended motion was put to a vote and the motion carried.



2. Motion


Moved by Glen McCoubrey, seconded by, Al Kutryk, that all legal and administrative costs associated with carrying out the above motion to distribute the “Recovered Funds” to be deducted from those funds.


Note: Votes for           35

          Votes against     20


At this time the motion to approve and establish an action and resource team to assist TRAM members with WCB injury claims was tabled to a later date due to time constraints


4. Other business

At this time there was no other business brought to the floor.


Motion to Adjourn.


Moved by, Dave Gnutel to adjourn at 4:15 pm.                                                       CARRIED.






_________________________                                                          __________________________

Dave Gnutel,        President                                                                Glen McCoubrey,      Secretary