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Cynthia Messenger

Cynthia Messenger receives OCUFA Service Award

July 16, 2021

The University of Toronto’s Cynthia Messenger has received the OCUFA Service Award from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.

OCUFA recognized Messenger, of the U of T Faculty Association, and her colleagues, Herb Kunze of the University of Guelph Faculty Association and Robert Hickey and Paul Young of the Queen’s University Faculty Association, for their collective efforts to create the University Pension Plan (UPP).

The UPP, which saw its inception this month, is a jointly-sponsored pension plan (JSPP) for the university sector in Ontario.

“I am honoured to receive recognition from OCUFA, an organization that played a shaping role in the early stages of the development of the UPP,” said Messenger, an associate professor, teaching stream, in the writing and rhetoric program at Innis College.

“The multi-year UPP project provided a rare opportunity for which I am grateful – to work on a challenging and important project with colleagues from across faculty associations, staff unions, and administrations at U of T, Guelph, and Queen’s.”

The UPP would not be a reality without the dedication and hard work of the four winners, said OCUFA president Rahul Sapra. “These four individuals were instrumental in pushing the UPP project forward and ultimately bringing it to fruition. Because of their work, tens of thousands of faculty, academic librarians and staff now have a better pension plan.”

Professor Angela Hildyard, special adviser to the president and provost, said Messenger played a critical role.

“From the very beginning of this initiative, Cynthia was convinced that moving into a JSPP was the only way to ensure that U of T faculty and staff could continue to enjoy the excellent pension benefits that our employee associations and unions had  negotiated over the years,” Hildyard said. “Her unwavering commitment was central to the ultimate establishment of the UPP.”