13. HEALTH, INSURANCE AND PENSION BENEFITS
Information on the benefit entitlements identified in this Article is available on the Human Resources Website (Benefit Plans) at http://www2.viu.ca/HumanResources/BENEFIT.asp. Whenever a change to these benefits occurs, the Chief Personnel Steward will be notified in writing by the Human Resources Department.
13.1 Eligibility for Benefits
a) Regular Faculty and Limited Term Contract Instructors
Except where provided for by law only regular faculty members and limited term contract instructors shall be eligible for the benefits outlined in this section.
Eligibility requirements for benefit coverage outlined in Articles 13.3 a) and c) include, a workload of at least 50% and an appointment length of at least 5 full months; and, for benefit coverage outlined in Article 13.3 (b), a workload of at least 50% and appointment length of at least 10 full months.
Should a limited term contract instructor not qualify for benefits, Article 13.1(b) applies.
A regular part-time faculty member who is not eligible for continued employer paid coverage due to a workload less than 50% shall be entitled to payment under Article 13.1 (b) for that time period only.
All faculty members will be eligible for disability benefits in accordance with Article 13.4.
b) Non-Regular Instructional Faculty
Temporary instructional faculty not already in receipt of health and insurance benefits under Article 13 shall be entitled to payment of eight percent (8%) biweekly in lieu of health and insurance benefits. If the employee is participating in an employer paid LTD plan, the payment in lieu of benefits shall be reduced to six percent (6%).
c) Temporary Non-Instructional Faculty
Temporary non-instructional faculty with a workload of at least 50% and an appointment length of at least 5 full months are eligible for benefit coverage outlined in Articles 13.3 a) and c). Temporary non-instructional faculty with a workload of at least 50% and an appointment length of at least 10 full months are eligible for benefit coverage outlined in Article 13.3 (b).
13.2 Specific Benefits
13.3 Benefit Provisions
a) Extended Health Benefits
i. Premiums are 100% employer paid.
ii. To qualify for the Extended Health Benefit Plan, the employee must have medical coverage under a provincial plan. Eligible employees may commence participation on the first of the month following the date of employment.
iii. Total lifetime coverage level will be unlimited.
iv. Extended Health Benefits coverage shall provide for 95% reimbursement for all covered expenses in excess of a $25 deductible in a calendar year. Effective January 1, 2016, Extended Health Benefits coverage shall provide for 95% reimbursement for all covered expenses in excess of a $50 deductible in a calendar year. Covered expenses include, but are not limited to, eligible prescription drugs, ambulance charges and emergency medical expenses while travelling outside Canada. The maximum lifetime benefit is unlimited.
v. Hearing Aid benefits claims will be to a maximum of $600 every five years. Effective January 1, 2017, hearing aid benefit claims will be to a maximum of $1000 every three years.
vi. Medical Travel Referral Benefit shall be in accordance with the provisions set out in the benefits summary document found at https://www2.viu.ca/HumanResources/BENEFIT.asp.
vii. Emergency Travel Assistance coverage shall provide 24 hour assistance to the employee and dependant for locating medical care and arranging medical transportation during a medical emergency occurring almost anywhere in the world.
viii. Eye vision exams shall be reimbursed to a maximum of $100.00 every two (2) years.
ix. Vision Care coverage shall provide 100% reimbursement for corrective lenses and frames or contact lenses up to a maximum of $500 per person every 24 consecutive months.
x. Health and welfare benefits coverage will cease on the day that an employee’s employment terminates.
b) Group Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
i. The University contributes 100% of the premiums for life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment benefits for eligible participating faculty members.
ii. Group Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefits each shall be set at three (3) times the employee’s annual salary.
iii. The amount of insurance coverage and eligibility is shown on the Human Resources website at https://www2.viu.ca/HumanResources/BENEFIT.asp.
c) Dental Plan
i. Premiums are 100% employer paid.
ii. Eligible employees may commence participation on the first of the month following one full calendar month of continuous employment.
iii. The Dental Plan shall provide coverage including:
- 100% basic diagnostic, preventative, restorative and periodontic services, including of cleaning of the teeth (prophylaxis and scaling) every nine (9) months except dependent children (7 to age 19) and those with gum disease and other dental problems as approved by the Plan.
- 60% of major restorative services such as crowns, bridges, and dentures.
- 50% of orthodontia for dependent children to a maximum $2000 per child.
d) Termination of Coverage
Retiring employees who are eligible for health and welfare benefits and who have applied for College Pension Plan benefits will maintain coverage until the commencement of pension health and welfare benefits and in any event no later than ninety (90) calendar days following the date of the employee’s retirement.
13.4 Disability Benefits
13.4.1 The Employers shall continue a single plan for the provision of disability benefits for eligible employees who are covered by this Agreement.
13.4.2 The disability benefits plan will be set an insured plan and will include the following elements:
a) Benefit level of sick leave at one-hundred percent (100%) for the first thirty (30) calendar days, short-term disability at seventy percent (70%) weekly indemnity for the next twenty-one (21) weeks, and long-term disability leave of seventy percent (70%) thereafter;
b) Partial Sick Leave and Partial Disability
The parties agree that it is in the interests of both employees and the employer to enable an employee to remain at work when the employee is only partially disabled:
i. An employee who is determined to be partially disabled shall be entitled to sick leave under Article 22.214.171.124 on a pro-rated basis until the employee has satisfied the qualifying period for short-term disability benefits of the equivalent of thirty (30) complete calendar days;
ii. Should an employee on partial disability leave return to their full normal duties during this qualifying period for short term disability and then become disabled again from the same or related disability within fourteen (14) consecutive calendar days after returning to full active employment, they will be considered to be within the same qualifying period;
iii. Partial Sick Leave and Partial Disability shall otherwise be governed by provisions as described in the Faculty Common Disability Plan (FCDP).
c) Long-term disability as defined on the basis of two-year own occupation and any other occupation thereafter as described by the FCDP.
d) Health and welfare benefit premiums will be paid by the Employer or the Plan for employees on sick leave, short-term disability and long-term disability;
e) Employer payment of premiums for both short-term and long-term disability benefits;
f) Claims Review Committee made up of three (3) medical doctors (one designated by the claimant, one by the Employer and the third agreed to by the first two doctors);
g) Mandatory rehabilitation as described in the JCBA plan;
h) Subject to provisions of the Plan, enrolment is mandatory for all active regular employees and for active non-regular employees employed on a continuing basis for at least a four (4) month period with fifty percent (50%) or more of a full-time workload.
13.4.3 Current employees shall retain any sick leave banks accrued up to but not beyond March 31, 2002 including any entitlement to full or partial payout of such sick leave banks. The provisions for use of those sick leave banks including payout, where applicable, shall continue to apply.
13.4.4 The Joint Committee on Benefits Administration (JCBA) shall oversee the continuation of the plan as described in Article 13.4.2 and shall address such matters pertaining to the plan as are included in the JCBA’s mandate as set out in Article 126.96.36.199.
13.4.5 Those employees not eligible for participation in this plan will continue to not have pay deducted for absences due to illness of up to three (3) contact hours or equivalent per course per month for the duration of the Collective Agreement.
13.5 Health and Welfare Benefits
13.5.1 Joint Committee on Benefits Administration
The Parties agree to maintain a Joint Committee on Benefits Administration (JCBA) with four members appointed by the Association’s sectoral representative organization; and four members appointed by the Employer’s sectoral representative organization.
13.5.2 Committee Mandate
The Joint Committee on Benefits has a mandate to undertake tasks related to health and welfare benefits and disability benefits including:
a) Comparison and analysis of contract administration and costs, using criteria developed by the committee.
b) Monitoring carrier performance including receiving reports from the plan administrator(s).
c) Reviewing the cost effectiveness and quality of benefit delivery, service, and administration by carriers, including access issues.
d) Tendering of contracts.
Participation in the existing Benefits user Group will continue. Participation is open to institutions that are not currently members of the Benefits User Group.
The Joint Committee on Benefits will not make any changes to the plan provisions that would increase the costs of health and welfare benefits or disability benefits for individual Employers or reduce plan provisions without the agreement of the Parties to this Agreement.
13.5.4 Costs of the Joint Committee
The Employers will pay up to $50,000 for the costs of the committee’s operations, exclusive of salaries and benefits.
13.6 COLLEGE PENSION PLAN
Participation in the College Pension Plan is mandatory for:
a) Faculty appointed to regular positions after September 1, 1999.
b) Non-regular faculty who earn, in any calendar year, a salary exceeding fifty (50) percent of the year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE).
Participation in the College Pension Plan is optional for:
a) Faculty appointed to regular positions prior to September 1, 1999 who opted to waive participation.
b) Non-regular faculty who earn less than fifty (50) percent of the YMPE provided a waiver form is completed and placed on file with Human Resources.
A faculty member who has waived enrolment may apply to participate in the College Pension Plan at any time and shall be covered effective the first day of the pay period following application to the Human Resources Department.
Details of all benefit plans shall form part of this agreement. There shall be no reduction in benefits under these plans or increases in premium costs without advance consultation with the committee of Personnel Stewards of the Association. During the term of this agreement neither party shall unilaterally alter the benefits of the plans. The selection of Insurance Carrier shall be made following consultation between the parties.