Home << CUPA/ARUC: History
CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY PENSIONERS ASSOCIATION (CUPA)
How did it come about?
What has it been doing?
CUPA was born in November 1987. The idea came from the alert mind of Jack Bordan, who was concerned that pensioners had little or no say in the administration of the Plan, nor of the Health Insurance plan. At the founding meeting, held in the SGW Faculty Club, forty-five pensioners met to establish an association of Concordia University retirees.Its main purpose would be to promote the welfare of all persons drawing a pension from the University.It would regularly inform its members of all University decisions that might affect them.It would provide a channel whereby the expertise of its members might be available to the University, as consultants or volunteers.To attain this objective, CUPA would seek representation on the Pensions and Benefits Committees of the Board of Governors.It took some time to achieve this, but, with the help of a new Provincial Law on Pensions, the University did agree, and Jack Bordan was elected as first representative of all retirees, followed by Muriel Armstrong a few years later.In 1994 an alternate representative was authorized.Currently (2004) these two position are held, respectively, by John Hall and Howard Fink, who must be credited with achieving the remarkable progress that has been made in indexation of pensions as well as the improvement of Health benefits, not to mention defending our interests in the class-action suit which is still before the courts. John’s mandate ends in the spring of 2004, and he will become Past President, joining his predecessors - Jack Bordan, Jim Whitelaw, Jean-Pierre Pétolas and Geoff Adams - while remaining as elected representative on the University Committees.
The Association has held two regular meetings every year, each one featuring one or more guest speakers, who have told us, amongst other things, about University programmes and structures, the political situation, major health issues, how to manage our finances, family history, seniors’ concerns and many more.It has also organized social events, such as the annual luncheon, sugaring-off parties, visits to the races, to museums and theatres.Initially, there was regular participation in the seminars which Human Resources used to run to prepare members of the University community for retirement.These seminars were discontinued, and we regret that we have not been able to find a way of fulfilling one of the major thrusts originally planned for the Association.
A recent achievement has been the institution of substantial bursaries and scholarships, using the funds freed up by the demutualization of the Sun Life, which had run the life insurance element of the Benefits programme.CUPA has also participated in University fund-raising activities.
In 1992 appeared the first issue of a newsletter, CUPARUC, produced in answer to a felt need.In the dozen years of its existence, it has attempted to keep members informed about issues of concern to them, as well as producing a wide range of contributions from members and others on a wide range of topics.Members have been urged to talk about their own retirement experience, whether at the level of family relationships, research activities or non-academic pursuits.We have included from time to time pieces from Larry Boyle on managing our finances, whimsical reflections from Kurt Jonassohn and others on “Senior moments”, poetry from Henry Beissel and Gustave Labbé, and, because its Editor is convinced that laughter is good medicine, especially for those of mature years, a certain amount of often outrageous - and even, occasionally, subtle - pieces of humour.