8, Number 3, October 2009
Association of Dalhousie Retirees and Pensioners
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Lord Dalhousie Room
Henry Hicks Building
1:30 to 2pm - Meet and Greet
2 to 3:30pm - Meeting
3:30 to 5:30pm - Social
Earl of Dalhousie Pub, University Club
Dues for 2010 ($20.00) will be accepted at this
Please bring your
newsletter to the meeting.
Day parking tickets for ADRP
members for the General Meeting may be obtained through the Security
Office, McCain Arts & Social Sciences Building 6135 University Avenue.
MEETING - DRAFT
2:00-3:30 pm on WEDNESDAY, December 9, 2009
Dalhousie Room, Henry Hicks Administration Building
Call to Order and Adoption of the Agenda. (J. Philip Welch)
Recognition of any deceased members since Apr.AGM. (J. Philip Welch)
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of 23 April 2009. (J. Philip
President's Report. (J. Philip Welch)
Treasurer's Report. (Dick Sutherland)
Committee Reports (discussion of these reports is greatly
Benefits Committee.(John Barry)
Communications Committee. (Randy Barkhouse)
Website. (Randy Barkhouse)
Newsletter. (Ken Rozee/Blanche Potter)
Caring and Sharing sub-committee. (Carol Smillie)
Complaints and Advocacy Committee (Ken Rozee)
Membership Committee. (Gweneth Mounteer)
Pension Advisory Committee. (Randy
SCANS (Seniors' College Association of Nova Scotia) (Ken Rozee/Blanche
CURAC (College and University Retirees Associations of Canada)
Any Other Business.
ASSOCIATION OF DALHOUSIE RETIREES AND PENSIONERS
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Thursday, 23 April 2009, 2-3:30 p.m. in Lord Dalhousie
Room, Hicks Administration Building
Call to Order and Adoption of Agenda: President J.Philip
Welch called the meeting to order at 2 pm (peak attendance was about
46 members - 42 were recorded on the attendance sheet). The
previously circulated Agenda was adopted by general consent.
Welch encouraged members to raise questions or make comments during
The President asked for silent remembrance of deceased ADRP members
Zbigniew A. Konczacki, and Sydney Patrick ( see April Newsletter page
22: "In Memoriam").
Minutes of the General Meeting of 10 December 2008, previously
circulated [Note, the draft Agenda erroneously showed the meeting date
as 12 December, 2007, but the correct minutes were distributed]:
Approval: By motion (Laidlaw) the draft minutes of the 10
December, 2008, General Meeting were APPROVED as distributed.
Special Resolution: Stuttard reported that the Registry of Joint
Stock Companies had ruled that the special resolution to amend the
by-laws adopted in December (in addition to the previous resolutions
adopted at the AGM last year) had not fully brought our by-laws into
strict conformity with the Registry's apparently required wording.
However, the relevant officer at the Registry had given her assurance
that the further amendments proposed in another special resolution, to
be considered later at this meeting, would rectify the deficiencies.
The same officer also promised (by email) to ensure speedy approval of
the Association's amended by-laws. By-laws become official only after
being approved by the Registry.
CURAC National and Atlantic Regional Meetings: Welch advised that
the Association will provide $50 to any member to pay for lunch ($15)
and help to defray the cost of road travel to Moncton for the Atlantic
Region CURAC meeting on Wednesday, May 20. There is no registration
fee for this meeting. However, anyone wishing to attend the National
CURAC meeting at the same venue on May 21 and 22 will be able to claim
ALL expenses (including road travel) for the meeting.
Pension Surplus Arbitration (Pension Indexation): Welch reported
that the Arbitrator had decided in favour of the DFA/ADRP position -
that for discretionary indexation the relevant surplus was the
Retirees' Trust Fund (RTF) surplus. Rodger observed that the
Arbitrator's award confirmed that the RTF Trustees had violated their
trust to pensioners, and future legal action would be appropriate
sometime soon. Laidlaw noted that the ADRP Benefits subcommittee
would review the implications of the arbitration decision.
President's Report: President Welch noted that his written report
was printed in the April Newsletter, and he would only like to
reiterate his closing comments: a plea for your help!
With reference to the arbitration decision, Ken
Easterbrook observed that to date the University Administration had
offered no apology for their failure to abide by the Pension Plan
rules. He therefore urged members to maintain their pressure on the
Administration in this matter. Welch added that the Administration
might yet appeal the Arbitrator's decision, which they were still
reviewing. Bob Rodger agreed, but noted that the Arbitrator was very
senior and highly experienced, so the likelihood of his decision being
overturned on appeal was extremely slight.
Andy Wainwright asked how many individuals were
eligible for ADRP membership. Stuttard responded that the number of
living Dalhousie retirees and pensioners was probably about 500.
Welch added that efforts to recruit members included presentations at
annual pre-retirement meetings organized by the Administration, but
the latter routinely refused to provide information to the ADRP
regarding impending or new retirees, citing protection of privacy
concerns. However, Blanche Potter noted that the Association was able
to send information and invitations to join to all retirees once every
two or three years through the University's Employee Benefits office
(Lee Crowell) in the Department of "Human Resources". It was now
about time to ask Mr. Crowell to facilitate another mass mail-out, for
which the ADRP would bear the cost. Crowell would provide the list of
names of all known living Dalhousie pensioners and the ADRP would
delete the names of existing ADRP members. Wainwright observed that
he had never received any information about the ADRP from the
Administration. Jack Duffy, however, declared that he had been sent
such information. Rodger suggested that current members be asked to
identify recent retirees, who could then be sent individual letters.
The best recruiting tool was personal contact. This could be the
responsibility of a sub-committee of the Membership Committee. John
Barry thought the Administration's supposed privacy concern regarding
retirees' contact information ("in loco parentis") might be an
item for discussion with AVP Sheehan.
Randy Barkhouse commented that the Nominating
Committee had unsuccessfully sought individuals willing to join the
Membership Committee. Welch noted that the Chair of the Membership
Committee need not be an elected Board member, but an ordinary ADRP
member, who would become a Board member on appointment as Membership
Treasurer's Report and Proposed Budget for 2009: Treasurer
Sutherland referred to the ADRP Financial Statement and Proposed
Budget for 2009-2010 as published in the April Newsletter. He noted
that the ADRP financial year was the calendar year; therefore the
proposed budget actually covered two-thirds of the current year and
one third of next year. Also, the listed "surplus" was actually a
misnomer, because those funds were already "spoken for": by
Association policy, 25% of dues income was automatically transferred
into our Contingency Fund each year. Overall, the Association's
finances were in good shape, with reserves held as a GIC to the
current value of approximately $15,000. The proposed budget was very
similar to the previous year's.
Welch noted that travel costs for attending the
up-coming CURAC meetings in Moncton were to be subsidised by Associate
VP Katherine Sheehan, who was concerned about improving relarions with
Morris Givner asked whether the Board of
Governors' investment strategy (for pension funds) was legal, because
it seemed to lack transparency, unlike the situation in Quebec.
Barkhouse responded that Dalhousie put investment information on its
web site. Stuttard noted that the BoG listed among its investment
management firms one that was apparently being sued by Halifax
Regional Municipality regarding dealings with the self-confessed
fraudster, Bernie Madoff. Givner thought pension investments should
be in very conservative instruments, such as GICs. Welch observed
that no one had the necessary foresight 18 months ago, and some
thought people were being stupid to stay with a defined benefit
pension. Rodger said recent years had seen movement towards defined
contribution plans, and the CEO of the Ontario Public Service Pension
Plan was advocating mergers with other pension plans, especially
universities, in order to reach a value of some $100 bn. Wally
Geldart thought the Quebec pension plan had lost some $40 bn (about
25%) in the current financial crisis.
Herb Gamberg saw the $350,000 annual salary paid
to Dalhousie's president as comparable with the over-compensation of
Welch reported that in a recent presentation to
the Senate on the Dalhousie Pension Plan by VP Burt and AVP Sheehan,
the "stakeholders" did not include retirees.
David Maxwell reminded members that the deed of
trust governing the Retirees' Trust Fund trustees could not be altered
unilaterally by the BoG. Welch suggested that the way the RTF is
handled is of interest to pensioners, who have a vested interest in
getting indexation, but this was not covered by the deed of trust.
Wally Geldart believed the Administration included bright people who
were dedicated to administration.
On motion (Sutherland) the Treasurer's report
was APPROVED nem con.
Auditor's Report: Norman Horrocks noted his report was in the
Benefits Committee: John Barry announced
that the Committee was seeking another member - if possible a female.
He also revealed that Lee Crowell had just agreed to change the
Benefits Brochure to improve its accuracy.
Welch believed that regular meetings between
members of the Benefits Committee and AVP Sheehan could be more
beneficial than ADRP having a seat on the University Benefits
Committee. Discussions with Sheehan had revealed that retirees aged
65 and older were paying extended health benefits premiums that were
at least 50% too high, and future premiums should drop by about 50%.
Retroactivity was unlikely, although approximately $500,000 currently
comprising a premium surplus might be used to provide a premium
holiday for older Blue Cross plan members. Givner wondered why the
Administration could not simply provide a reimbursement cheque to each
member who had paid excessive premiums in the past. Welch said
retirees have very little leverage with the Administration. In
response to Ruth Gamberg, Welch thought we might expect to get
premiums reduced in three to four months time. She also wondered
whether the the benefits package might be extended. Welch said this
was under the purview of the University Benefits Committee; employee
groups would need to agitate for more benefits, but these would also
have increased costs. Barry said his committee would canvass the ADRP
membership; he urged members to look at the UPEI website to see the
benefits available to their retirees.
Mike Poulton queried the reported surplus in the
benefits plan. Welch explained that the income from premiums was
supposed to be used up annually in disbursements from the plan, but
over a number of years premiums in excess of costs had been collected
without anyone asking who was actually contributing the surplus.
Thus, the fact that retirees aged 65 and older have been subsidizing
the employees and retirees under age 65 (mainly because the latter
have drug cost coverage included while older retirees do not) was not
Web Site: Randy Barkhouse noted that links to the Pension Fund
reports were on the ADRP web site. He also confirmed for Barry that
he was liaising with the University's web site managers as they
proceed with their revamping exercise in the coming months.
Newsletter: Ken Rozee remarked that production of the April issue
had been a huge job, and hoped that future editions would be produced
more rapidly. He thanked Emerson Moffitt and Jan Scott for their past
editorial work. Moffitt responded in kind.
Caring and Sharing Sub-Committee: Carol Smillie thanked Blanche
Potter for providing her with notifications regarding members'
circumstances. She depends on members to inform her when needs arise,
as indicated in her written Newsletter report.
Complaints and Advocacy Committee: Rozee had nothing to report.
Committee: Blanche Potter said that 211 members had paid dues for
2008/09, including four new members in 2009. She asked members to
please notify the ADRP when they had any postal or email address
Advisory Committee: Robert MacKay had given regrets for his
absence; his report was printed in the April Newsletter.
Committee: Sid Sodhi directed members to the Committee's written
report (Newsletter), and observed that arrangements for events take
some time and effort. Therefore, the low attendances, despite
advertising in various media, were disappointing. He wondered what
could be done, and gave his best wishes to his successors. Both he
and Potter were retiring from this Committee and from the Board.
Welch noted that Bob Mackay was also stepping down from the Board. A
round of applause followed his thanks to all three for their dedicated
|On motion (Stuttard)
the above Reports were ADOPTED.
obtained the consent of the meeting to change the order of agenda
items to ensure that the special resolution was considered before
people began to leave the meeting.
Special Resolution: Stuttard moved:
That the by-laws be amended
At Article II, clause 8, by deleting the words, "and transfer of" in
the heading; and in the second sentence deleting the words,
"membership is transferred without any fee to" and substituting the
words "the benefits of membership for the remainder of the calendar
year are conferred on the spouse of the deceased member at the time of
death without any further fee."
ii. At Article
IV, clause 8, by deleting the word "record", after the words "The
Secretary shall", and inserting the words " have responsibility for
the preparation and custody of all non-financial books and records,
iii. At Article
V, clause 7, after the word "execute," insert the words "deeds, bills
of exchange, and"
|The motion was
APPROVED without dissent.
Representatives Report - SCANS (Seniors College Association of Nova
Scotia): Rozee reported that SCANS had been successful to date,
with more than 200 members. The Board had recently held
"brainstorming" sessions on the topic of "Where do we go from here?"
Representatives had been invited to visit Berwick to help a group to
establish a similar operation in the Valley. Residents of St.
Margaret's Bay were also interested in getting activity in Tantallon.
SCANS already provides courses in Bedford; and with 40 to 50 persons
per course, SCANS needs more venues. The College is financially
sound. Barry added that the courses "are great, good and cheap" and
suggested this could be the College motto. Sodhi noted that Bob
Anderson, Chair of the College Curriculum Committee was looking for
potential instructors for expansion within HRM and possibly beyond.
Report of the Nominations Committee: Blanche Potter noted that
their call for nominations had elicited no responses, but the
Committee was able to bring forward the following names for
election, as printed in the April Newsletter:
Directors at Large
Paul B. Huber
|No further nominations
were received from the floor and the above candidates were ELECTED by
The meeting was adjourned at
President's Report September
September 29, 2009
This will be a fairly
short report, since the interval since my last report to you in June has
been relatively short, and such news as has been generated seems to follow
the pattern of one step forward and two steps back.
My letter to Dr. Jim
Spatz, Chair of the Board of Governors, mentioned by me in the last
newsletter, describing our concerns with regard to the apparent poor
performance of Dalhousie investments in the two pension trust funds, as
well as Dalhousie's other University investments, was essentially
rebuffed, without any attempt to explain the situation, or to offer any
evidence that the situation was less bad than might be concluded from the
The University Administration has
expressed some concern with regard to what they describe as the
sustainability of the Dalhousie Pension Plan. This seems to be based on a
belief that the Plan is too costly for the University, and/or too generous
towards retirees. This does not pose a direct threat to the
pensions of the ex-members of the Dalhousie Staff who are now retired,
although apparent lack of enthusiasm on the part of the trustees of the
Retirees Trust Fund to increase the investment yield will have an adverse
impact on the provision of both the so-called 'automatic' indexation, and
the catch-up indexation. The overall cost-of-living deficit due to lack
of catch-up indexation is now significantly more than 10% for some
In order to address
the question of sustainability of the plan, the University Administration
has moved to form an ad hoc Committee on Pension Sustainability (ACOPS) to
examine the situation. This Committee has been set up in conjunction with
the University Pension Advisory Committee, and I am pleased to state that
the ADRP has a representative on this ad hoc Committee, in the person of
Paul Huber. We believe that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with
such an examination. There are certainly some potential changes which
might be made to the Pension Plan which would help to ensure greater
fairness of treatment of current retirees, but we fear that the University
Administration views this as a cost-cutting exercise, which is therefore
likely to result in a diminishment of the quality of future pensions. We
hope that this new committee will give due attention to the importance-and
any needed improvement-to the investment policy regarding the pension
funds. The person chosen to Chair this new committee is an important
consideration, and the University Administration would prefer to identify
someone who is known, or likely, to be sympathetic to their view of the
world. (Further details concerning this Committee can found in the
Pension Advisory Committee Report by Randy Barkhouse in the July ADRP
Retirees who are also
continuing members of the Dalhousie Medavie Blue Cross Plan will be aware
of the changes introduced by the University Administration to the premiums
demanded from the regular (over 65 years) and early (less than 65
years) retirees, the former having an apparently significant reduction and
the latter having a significant increase. Most Blue Cross retiree members
over age 65 will probably regard the decrease in their premiums with some
relief; your ADRP representatives who have been talking with the
University Administration regard the change for this group as "a dollar
short and many years late". The increase in the premiums demanded from
the "early retirees" is the result of the University Administration's
insistence that this group has demonstrated an unfair cost advantage; a
claim which your ADRP representatives feel to have been inadequately
documented. More importantly, we consider the premium increase to be
unfair, unjust, and possibly illegal. Further talks are continuing. Such
talks will also include the disposition/utilization of the considerable
surplus generated from the excess of the premiums over the benefit costs
for the over 65 retirees (also mentioned in the July ADRP newsletter),
identified at $520,000 in that newsletter, and now likely to be
Finally, I would like
to draw the attention of ADRP members to a surprising and undesirable
attitude which we have seen, with increasing frequency, from some of the
current identified employee groups within the University. Your executive
has always taken the view that there should be sympathetic cooperation
between the ADRP and the ongoing employee groups, since the majority (if
not all) of the members of these groups will eventually reach their own
retirement and in their own self-interest should therefore show some
concern regarding the welfare of current retirees. For example, letters
sent to the Presidents of all current employee groups, pointing out that
the Blue Cross premiums which may be demanded of their own intending early
retirees, and from those members of their various groups considering
continuation of employment after their 65th birthday, should be carefully
scrutinized. These letters met with no response and no indication of
interest. I mention this concern, since some ADRP members may be in
continuing contact with their colleagues and friends who are continuing in
Dalhousie employment, and to ask that such ADRP members bring these
concerns to the attention of their employed colleagues to try to imbue the
executives of these various employee groups with a greater sense of
I hope to see you all
at our December general meeting and social on Wednesday, December 9.
With all good wishes,
J. Philip Welch
Update - Randy Barkhouse
There have been no Pension
Advisory Committee meetings since June, but the summer hiatus has now been
broken with the start of work by the ad hoc sub-committee on pension
sustainability. The representative for ADRP on that sub-committee is Paul
Huber, and I serve as alternate.
This sub-committee was struck in
response to senior administration concern that the sharp drop in Dalhousie
pension plan asset value could lead to a massive requirement to make up
any actuarial deficit that might exist as of June 30, 2010. Under present
rules any such deficit is the responsibility of the Board of Governors to
remedy over a five year period. The possible deficit foreseen could
present a disruptive multi-million dollar drain annually on the
university's operating budget.
The sub-committee met twice in
September to discuss its mode of operation, and to select a neutral chair.
The process of contacting potential nominees itself took considerable
time between meetings Although a chair has yet to be confirmed three of
the names placed in nomination have been ranked and the first ranked
individual is being approached to serve.
It should be noted that the value
of plan assets in both the Pension Trust Fund, and the Retirees Trust Fund
have recovered substantially from the extreme lows of early March.
Dalhousie administration had an
actuarial valuation of the Pension Plan liabilities and assets done as of
February 28, 2009, and an extrapolation of that valuation will be used as
the basis of sub-committee discussion of plan funding.
Senior administration have also
indicated that governance of the plan is a concern, but no specifics of
that concern have been presented.
It should be noted that Dalhousie
is not alone among Nova Scotia universities in its concern over the method
of funding deficits in its defined benefit pension plan. In particular the
short term of five years to make up any deficit is a provincial government
regulation from which relief is sought.
Although permanent or temporary
adjustments in the Dalhousie pension plan may be required, senior
administration have been careful to state that there will be no changes in
Benefits Committee Report. October
Hi ADRP Members.
Recently those of you who are
subscribers to Medavie saw a change to the amount of your monthly
deduction on your advisory statement from Payroll -- early retirees will
see an increase, and over-65 retirees will see a decrease.
You should have received
notification of the new rates from Lee Crowell the end of July.
For the regular retirees the
adjustment represents a step towards remedying the injustice of gross
overpayments for up to a couple of decades for some. With the new rates
instituted in September your overpayment has been reduced. There's more
work to be done.
For this issue of the Newsletter,
I've invited Benefits Committee members to contribute their thoughts on
the issue at hand.
Sheila Johnson and Shirley Dean
collaborated on the piece to follow. Sheila retired from the BenComm
earlier this year for health reasons. She is one individual who has been
overpaying for many, many years. Sheila retains an interest in the
deliberations of our committee and continues to be a resource for us to
turn to. I hope she's out of the hospital and able to read this issue at
home when it's published.
Sheila and Shirley wrote:
Regular retirees who received the
letter from Lee Crowell dated July 2, 2009, were happy to find that there
would be some reduction in the rates for health benefits but were
astonished to discover that they were eligible for dental and travel
benefits, to quote: "....Dalhousie University has facilitated access to
health and dental plans for employees upon retirement".
The letter goes on to assure us,
"...benefits currently offered are the same as those offered to active
employees... ". Further... "Regular retirees are covered for the same
benefits with the exception of prescription drugs which are provided
through the provincial Pharmacare plan".
Enquiries to the office of Human
Resources, Pensions and Employee Benefits contradicted the information
relating to dental and travel benefits noting these had never been
available to retirees.
One is left to wonder "who is
minding the store?" when it comes to retirees and their benefits...?
Mike Bradfield joined our
committee as secretary at the beginning of this year. Mike has been
involved in all but the earliest meeting Philip, Mike and I have had with
Asst. VP Katharine Sheehan and Lee Crowell since December 2008.
The ADRP negotiations over the Extended Health Care benefit with the
Dalhousie Administration have been long and ultimately both fruitful and
Citing the example of the University of New Brunswick, we asked for a
reduction in the monthly premium rates to be consistent with the
utilization of our Extended Health Care benefit and for compensation for
years of over-payment. Our data indicate that rates should be cut by
about 70 per cent. The Administration interpret their data as justifying
about a 50 percent reduction in rates for retirees over 65. However,
their data also indicate there is high drug utilization by the early
retirees, those under 65. As the ADRP concern was with the only benefit
available to those over 65, we emphasized the EHC benefit.
agreeing that there should be a cut in the EHC rates for 65+ retirees, the
Administration focused on the question of "pooling", i.e., of the group
for which rates would be set - are retirees two separate groups (early and
65+) or should they be one group with a single EHC rate? We said that the
rates heretofore appear to be set for the entire group - employees and
retirees - and this should continue. It became clear that the
Administration's concern was with their potential "post-retirement"
liability if retirees were pooled with employees. It is not clear why
such a liability would arise if rates reflect utilization. The
Administration had been aware that EHC rates were too high and generating
a surplus which benefited the entire membership of the medical plan, but
did not suggest separate pooling for the retirees until they feared that
reasonable rates could generate a liability rather than an asset for
UNB, the Administration said there could be no cash payout for the years
of over-payment, but has not rejected other options, such as a pension
holiday which could be financed by the $521,000 surplus from 2003-2008,
generated by the 65+ retirees. The Administration's position is that some
of this surplus should be used to eliminate the drug deficit of the early
retirees. As the retirees' drug benefit is restricted to the early
retirees and the rates are set by the Administration, we said that it was
their issue and should not come out of the surplus of the 65+ retirees.
meetings focused on the questions around pooling and the use of the
surplus, during which time the premium rates for employees AND FOR
RETIREES were raised by 4.2 %! In July, we suggested that interim rates
be set, without prejudice to the ultimate resolution of the questions of
pooling and use of the surplus. Using data for the 65+ retirees supplied
by the Administration's consultant, we estimated that family premium could
be cut to 40 % of the 2008 rate and that the single rate cut to half the
family rate - both of these rates appear to have been previously set from
the respective rates for the employee group. The Administration promised
to respond to our proposal but instead sent out the misleading July 29
memo on new rates. These rates are roughly 50 % higher than our proposal,
but we have been given no explanation of how they were set or why the
promised consultation did not occur.
Philip Welch was responsible for
carrying forth the effort to put an end to the overpayment.
More work is ahead as the surplus
cited by Mike, above, of what's now estimated to be in excess of $600,000
has not been addressed.
Philip has taken some calls from
ADRP members who are early-retirees and speaks to them in this section.
Philip wrote: Blue Cross Update
and Action Suggestions for ADRP Early Retirees
Some early retirees (i.e. those
aged 60-65 who retired prior to age 65), who (as they thought) were
offered continuation of their membership in the University Blue Cross
plan, were disturbed to be informed that the University administration is
increasing their premium by about 60%, - while the premiums for regular
employees, in all age groups, remain unchanged. They have been singled out
simply because they "retired"..
(Sorry, but we can't explain it
either.) We are protesting this increase on your behalf, which we believe
to be unjust, inequitable, and probably illegal; but don't hope for any
speedy reversal of this admin. decision.
Some of these early retirees have
told us they are exploring options for a possible replacement auxiliary
health care carrier.
We encourage you to do so. If you
are successful, please let us know.
Possible options to try :
- Canadian. Assn. of Retired
Persons (CARP) 1-877.551.5566
- Canadian Auto Assn (CAA) 1-866.999.422
- Cover Me Flexcare (Manulife) 1-877.268.376 AND - don't forget to
include in your inquiry
- Medavie Blue Cross 902- 496.6624 or 1-800.667.4511
- and also explain to them that you are a member of the Dalhousie Blue
Cross plan, paying the same premiums as all other plan members up to this
point, but that you have now been targeted for a 60% increased
premium because you are retired ! Perhaps ask the Blue Cross reps if they
think that Blue Cross could be sued on this account. Good Luck! Keep us
Philip Welch, President ADRP
I hope the membership appreciates
the work of the Benefits Committee and I would like to thank the committee
members for the hard work and feedback they've provided over the past
We would be pleased to receive feedback from the ADRP membership as we
move on to the surplus issue.
Announcement and Updates
Increase in Blue Cross
Premiums: Those members who retired "early" - i.e. prior to age 65 -
and are still below age 65 - will have received a notice from Lee Crowell
(Director of Insurance and Employee Benefits) "explaining" the increase in
Blue Cross premiums for this group. The ADRP had no involvement in this
increase, and believe it to be unjust, inequitable and arguably, illegal.
It is suggested that members who
have received this notice contact the undersigned, either by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or by phone (902-826-7428). I will be glad to provide you with detailed
comments - and questions which you may wish to pass on by phone, e-mail,
or letter, to Mr. Crowell and other members of the University
I think you will find these
comments and questions most useful. (Please feel free to pass on the
availability of these questions/comments to any other early retirees who
may not be ADRP members).
Philip Welch, President, ADRP
Honorary Member - it is
with great pleasure that we announce that the ADRP Board voted unanimously
to accord a life membership in this organization to Dr. Tarunendu (Tarun)
Ghose. In his letter informing Dr. Ghose of this honour, President
Philip Welch wrote: "You are truly the 'founding father' of this
Association, and saw the need and potential for such a group, when others
were lukewarm. You provided the initial spark, gathered the troops, and
proceeded to lead us in the early days when much establishment planning
You continue to provide us with
the benefit of your wisdom and insight - and I hope you will continue to
do so. I cannot think of a more appropriate recipient of life membership
in the ADRP".
Tarun Ghose is currently the
President of the CURAC - College and University Retirees Association of
Ernest Sprott Memorial Plaque
On a gloriously warm and sunny September 30 afternoon a small group of
friends and colleagues gathered in front of the Killam Library to dedicate
a plaque to the late Dr. Ernest Sprott, who died May 20, 2009 in his 90th
year. The bronze plaque will hang in the 3rd floor of the Killam Library
where the Australian poetry collection which he endowed is housed. It
states simply, "Ernest Sprott, 1919-2009, Scholar and Gentleman". Although
those simple words certainly apply for all who knew him as a professor of
English at Dalhousie for 50 years from 1958 onwards, a considerable
enlargement of his life and personality was provided in remarks given at
the brief dedication, and in a subsequent reception hosted by the
Department of English in the Fireside Lounge in the FASS Building.
While his skills in cooking and music may have been known to many, his
expertise in horticulture, and cultivation of songbird habitat at his
south-end home were aspects of his life known to a close few. What even
fewer knew of this diminutive scholar with the basso-profondo voice was
his service as a stretcher bearer in the Australian army in WWII. It even
gave him an opportunity to humorously relate the advantage of being
considerably under the average height - he could carry a stretcher
holding his back straight while his taller comrades had to stoop to avoid
It will be of less surprise to learn that Ernest Sprott had a closely
analyzed version of Shakespeare's "Henry VI, Part 1" out to a publisher
prior to his death. Given the enthusiasm for computer-based methods which
this renowned scholar pursued starting late in his seventh decade, it was
thought that an online version of this work might be another fitting
acknowledgement of his fifty years of scholarship at Dalhousie.
Award: Congratulations to
ADRP President, Dr. Philip Welch, who is to receive the 2009 Founders
Award from the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists, at their annual
meeting in Banff, Alberta, in recognition of an outstanding career in
Ken Rozee -
Blanche Potter Creighton -
The editors wish to warmly welcome
Gweneth Mounteer to our Board. She will undertake the heavy task as Chair
of the Membership Committee. Gweneth retired as Administrative Secretary
from the Faculty of Dentistry in 2000 and has been an ADRP member since
her retirement. She will undertake the heavy task as Chair of the
Membership Committee. As can be appreciated, this is perhaps the most
important activity of Board committees for a membership weakly
representative of the pensioners means a weak voice in our future, as the
University administration understands only too well. Please help Gweneth
in the recruitment task. . .it is very important. Numbers mean a lot!!
Some concern has been raised
concerning members who for a variety of reasons require assistance or
advocacy for problems that arise in their life and have difficulty in
obtaining help. We encourage members with such needs to contact the Chair
of the Complaints and Advocacy Committee (Ken Rozee) who will, in strict
confidence, help solve your problem.
We would more than welcome
contributions from you to our Announcements and updates section of the
Newsletter. Just drop us an email at either of the addresses below and
our thanks to those who contributed to this current newsletter.
Your Editors look forward to less "interesting times" and a shorter
Newsletter in the future.
The ADRP intends to publish the newsletter every three months. It is
hoped the newsletter will serve the following purposes:
To provide pertinent information;
To provide a forum for the free exchange of views on issues relevant to
To serve as a documentary record of matters relating to the ADRP.
The Editorial Board, under the
ultimate direction of the ADRP Board, takes responsibility for the
contents of the newsletter. Signed contributions will take the form of
short articles and letters to the editor; these will normally represent
the opinions of the author, and need not represent the views of the ADRP.
Anonymous material will not be considered for publication. The Editorial
Board retains the right to edit or reject contributed material and to
elicit similar and opposing views surrounding any issue raise.
The Editorial Board: Ken Rozee,
Blanche Potter Creighton
Ex-officio: J. Philip
Welch, Randy Barkhouse
How to contact us:
By phone: (902) 494-7174
By post: ADRP Office, Rm. 2831, Life Sciences Centre, Dalhousie
University, Halifax, NS B3H 4J1