ARTICLE 26, BENEFIT PLANS
26.01 Medical Services Plan and Extended Health Benefits
- The District shall contribute eighty percent (80%) of the monthly cost of the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia and of the Extended Health Benefits Plan under the trusteeship of the Capital Area Benefit Advisory Group for regular employees, provided that the employee agrees to contribute the remaining twenty percent (20%) of both plans by payroll deduction.
- The Extended Health Benefit coverage shall include:
- vision care providing for full reimbursement towards the cost of the purchase of one (1) pair of eyeglasses or laser eye surgery every two (2) years for each regular employee and his/her dependents to a maximum cost of four hundred dollars ($400.00) per pair or surgery;
- charges for routine eye examinations every two (2) calendar years when performed by a Physician or legally authorised optical provider shall be increased to one hundred dollars ($100.00).
- hearing aids to a maximum of three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) every five (5) years.;
- hair pieces and wigs for chemotherapy and alopecia patients payable to a maximum of five hundred dollars ($500.00) per twenty-four (24) months.
- an unlimited lifetime maximum;
- Bluenet; and
- no deductible.
The Parties agree that the Employer shall utilize the employee portion of the EI rebate to improve the Extended Health Benefit coverage.
26.02 Group Life Insurance
- All regular employees shall participate in the District’s Group Life and Accident Insurance Plan, under the trusteeship of the Capital Area Benefit Advisory Group, as a condition of employment. Each employee shall be entitled to insurance coverage equal to two times (2x) annual salary to a maximum principal amount of insurance of two-hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars ($225,000), with adjustments being made on an individual basis to correspond with changes in annual salary. Effective January 1, 2012 the insurance coverage shall be equal to three times (3x) annual salary rounded upwards to the next higher thousand. The District agrees to pay eighty (80%) percent of the cost of such coverage and the employee shall pay the remaining twenty percent (20%) of the cost. The District shall pay eighty (80%) percent of the premium of Group Life Insurance for spouses and dependent children as defined in the Plan in the principal amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) and two thousand dollars ($2,000), respectively.
- Any employee covered under the Group Life and Accident Insurance Plan who retires prior to normal retirement age, as provided in the Municipal Pension Plan, shall be permitted to continue his/her insurance policy as an individual policy effective until the employee’s normal retirement age without any increase in excess of the group premium, provided the employee pays the total premium.
26.03 Municipal Pension Plan
- All newly hired regular employees shall participate under the Municipal Pension Plan, subject to the terms and conditions of such Plan, from their initial date of hire as a regular employee.
- A newly hired employee, who was previously participating under the Municipal Pension Plan or a reciprocal plan, shall immediately be enrolled in the Plan, provided the new hire has not withdrawn their previous contributions and provided the break in service of the employee is thirty (30) calendar days or less.
- Auxiliary employees, who become eligible subject to the terms and conditions of the Pension Benefits Standards Act, may participate in the Plan.
- The District may rehire on an auxiliary basis superannuated employees provided such re-hirings do not prevent the promotion of employees from less senior positions.
- An employee who prior to April 1, 2007 had purchased from the Municipal Pension Plan the time served by the employee in a probationary period with their current employer (which had not before been considered as pensionable service) shall be reimbursed fifty per cent (50%) of the purchase cost by their employer upon the employee producing the receipt and provided the employee has reached the minimum retirement age.
26.04 Death Benefits
- In the event of death of any regular employee who had been employed by the District continuously for two (2) years, the District shall pay to the payroll direct deposit bank account of such employee a sum equal to one (1) month’s salary or wages calculated at the rate to which he/she was entitled at the date of his/her death, such sums to be in addition to any salary or wages accrued to the credit of such employee at the time of his/her death.
- Upon the death of a regular employee who leaves a spouse and/or dependant enrolled in the Medical Services Plan, Dental Plan and Extended Health Benefit Plan, such enrolment may continue for twelve (12) months following the employee’s death, provided the enrolled family members pay the employee’s share of the cost of the premium for the plans. The Employer shall advise the survivor of this benefit.
26.05 Dental Plan
The Employer shall maintain a dental plan for regular employees under the trusteeship of the Capital Area Benefit Advisory Group, which shall provide for payment of one hundred percent (100%) of claims under Plan “A” (basic services), fifty percent (50%) under Plan “B” (prosthetic appliance and crown and bridge procedures) and fifty percent (50%) under Plan “C” (Orthodontics to a maximum lifetime benefit of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) for each eligible employee and eligible dependent). Plan A (basic services) shall include composite (white) fillings on all teeth.
The Employer shall pay eighty percent (80%) of the monthly premium cost of the Dental Plan in each instance where the employee agrees to contribute the remaining twenty percent (20%) through monthly payroll deductions.
26.06 Effective Date of Benefit Coverage
It is understood that a regular employee’s initial benefit coverage in the Medical Services, Dental, Extended Health, Group Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit plans will come into effect on the first day of the month following their date of hire or their appointment to regular status.
It is understood that a regular employee’s initial benefit coverage in the Long Term Disability benefit plan will come into effect on the first day of the month following six (6) months probationary period.
26.07 Maintenance of Benefit Coverage
A regular employee, while on temporary layoff or unpaid leave of absence of up to six (6) months shall continue to maintain their coverage in the Medical Services Plan, Dental, Extended Health, Group Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment and Long Term Disability benefit plans by paying one hundred percent (100%) of the costs of the premiums beginning the first day of the month following that in which the layoff or leave occurs.
Additionally, an employee who is eligible for WorkSafeBC benefits may maintain their enrolment in the benefit plans by paying their share of the premium costs.
26.08 Same Sex Relationships
An employee who co-habits with a person of the same sex, and who promotes such person as a “spouse” (partner), and who has done so for a period of not less than two (2) years, will be eligible to have that person covered as a spouse for purposes of Medical Services, Extended Health and Dental benefits and leaves related to family matters. This coverage includes dependents of the employee’s same sex spouse.
26.09 Pre-Retirement Seminar
An employee who is within ten (10) years of reaching their minimum retirement age shall be granted up to one (1) paid day/shift leave of absence to attend a retirement planning seminar provided by the Pension Corporation.
26.10 Long Term Disability Plan
- The Employer and the Union shall participate in the Long Term Disability Plan provided under the joint GVLRA/CUPE LTD Trust, or its successor trust when applicable, pursuant to the Trust Agreement executed by Trustees representing the Union and the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association on behalf of the Employer effective January 1, 1987, which Trust Agreement may be amended from time to time by the Trustees.
- All regular employees shall participate in this LTD Plan as a condition of continued employment. The required contributions for this coverage shall be as determined and amended from time to time by the Trustees and shall be shared equally by each employee through payroll deduction and the Employer (50% each), provided that in no event shall the total cost of such coverage exceed three percent (3%) of the total payroll for basic CUPE wages. Should the current benefits prove impossible to maintain for this three percent (3%) maximum in accordance with accepted actuarial accounting methods, the benefits shall be amended by the Trustees so that the three percent (3%) total cost is maintained.
- The terms and conditions of this LTD Plan shall be as determined and amended from time to time by the Trustees, but in no event shall these benefits provide for other than the following, provided such benefits can be maintained for the total cost of three percent (3%) of payroll:
- A benefit level of seventy percent (70%) of the disabled employee’s regular monthly earnings in effect on the date of disability, reduced by certain amounts received by and payable to the employee from other sources during the period of disability.
- A definition of disability which permits an employee to become eligible for benefits when completely unable to engage in his/her normal occupation for the first twenty-four (24) months of disability; and thereafter, when he/she is unable to engage in any occupation or employment for which he/she is reasonably qualified or may reasonably become qualified.
- A seventeen (17) week qualification period from the date of disability during which no benefit is payable under the Plan.
- All claims for LTD coverage shall be adjudicated and administered by a carrier selected for such purposes by the Trustees. The terms of the Trust Agreement and Plan Documents as applicable shall apply to all matters not specifically addressed in this Article. Should a conflict arise between this Article and any of the above documents, this Article shall always apply.
- Benefits While on Long Term Disability
- An employee must make application for Long Term Disability benefits while on an extended sick leave and prior to the completion of the qualification period, and that if the employee is accepted for Long Term Disability benefits that the employee shall commence Long Term Disability upon completion of the qualification period.
- An employee during the qualification period and while in receipt of Long Term Disability benefits shall be considered to be on approved leave of absence. Such an employee, including one engaged in rehabilitation employment with the Employer, shall continue to be covered by the provisions of the Medical Services Plan, Extended Health Plan, Group Life Insurance and Dental Plan. While in receipt of Long Term Disability payments, contributions to the Municipal Pension Plan shall be waived and such status shall be reported to the Plan.
- For recipients on Long Term Disability benefits the eighty/twenty (80/20) premium cost sharing for the above plans shall remain for the first two (2) years while on Long Term Disability after which the access to such benefits ceases unless the Long Term Disability recipient opts to continue benefit coverage by assuming the full premium costs of such benefits.Effective January 1, 2008, for recipients on Long Term Disability benefits the eighty/twenty (80/20) premium cost sharing for the above plans shall remain for the first two (2) years while on long term disability after which the benefit premium costs shall be shared fifty per cent (50%) by the Employer and fifty per cent (50%) by the recipient for the duration of their claim
- Seniority shall continue to accrue while on Long Term Disability.
- The GVLRA/CUPE LTD Trust may examine possible options to improve health and welfare benefit entitlements and make such recommendations to the Parties to this Agreement as the Trustees deem appropriate.
- Notwithstanding anything in this Article, the Employer and the Union recognize that eligibility for and entitlement to Long Term Disability benefits shall be as set out in the Plan document.