Employer’s prior conduct prohibits pension plan amendments, despite collective agreement terms: Ontario court

A recent Ontario Divisional Court ruling serves as a caution that employers’ prior conduct may prohibit them from amending pension plans even when the collective agreement clearly allows them to do so.

“The takeaway from the decision is that employers’ discretion to amend plans will always be subject to labour law principles in cases that engage a collective agreement,” says Ari Kaplan, an arbitrator, mediator and counsel at Kaplan Law in Toronto who wasn’t involved in the case.

In this case, the parties were Nova Chemicals Canada Ltd. and Unifor Local 914. The union grieved when Nova announced it would freeze the defined benefit component of the pension plan from December 2021 to the expiry of the collective agreement in March 2023. READ MORE

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or https://legalwriter.net/contact.


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