Here is the link to the survey and below is the explanation for it:
In the previous round of Bargaining (2016 -2019), the Local secured a Benefits Fund for Unit 1 of $100 000 per year. An opt-in comprehensive benefits plan was created with these funds. Members who had a contract were offered member-only benefits at a subsidized rate. Members who were without a Unit 1 contract are still able to opt in; however, no subsidy is provided.
If members had coverage elsewhere (Brock GSA, Another Workplace) that coverage was considered to be the Primary Coverage and the Unit 1 Benefits would be considered Secondary Coverage. The Unit 1 Benefits were then used for coordination of benefits.
An opt-in program invariably leads to higher premiums, since the members who opt in to the plan are highly likely to use the Benefits.
The current contract saw an increase to the Benefits Fund
($176 000 in Year 1 / $177 760 in Year 2/ $179 538 in Year 3).
Although these are significant improvements, these amounts represent a fraction of what it would take to offer comprehensive benefits to all members who are on contract.
The Benefits Fund is less precarious now: Benefits funding was previously for three years only, as Benefits were in a Letter of Understanding. Benefits are now in the contract as language. You might remember that we had an expired contract for over a year and were not receiving any Benefits monies from the University.
The changes to the Collective Agreement also added language that made Payroll Deduction for benefits a possibility.
Your Benefits Committee decided that a survey is in order to find out members’ opinions on how they think the Funds should be used.