Benefits

Happy New Year - President's Message

Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best in 2019!
Before I knew it holiday season was over, and it is a new year and with a blink of an eye January was over and February is here. Between the high and lows of the temperature and the amount of snow some areas have received, the winter landscapes look pretty, but sure make outside duties very grueling!  On February 2nd, most groundhogs predicted an early Spring! Let’s hope that the groundhogs are right.

Inclement Weather
We have had numerous calls, emails, and texts about the email sent out yesterday afternoon by Human Resources Services regarding inclement weather. Please know that we have heard your concerns about its tone, feelings of intimidation and its apparent new expectations. The Union will be addressing this over the coming days. However, with the looming Winter Storm Warning and many hours of snow, ice pellets, and potential freezing rain in the forecast we wanted to send you some information.

The Collective Agreement does not list any conditions on the use of inclement weather, including whether visibility is reduced, or road closures are in effect. We do not believe these are the only two situations that warrant the use of Code 13. You need to be safe. You need to monitor the weather and use your personal judgment if you can get to your worksite safely.

If you need to use an inclement weather day, please be assured that the Union will continue to defend a member's justifiable use of the inclement weather code, if questioned by your Supervisor.

It is recommended that individuals who are unable to safely make it to their work site for the start of your work day, to notify your Principal/Supervisor, before the start of your work day. If conditions do not allow you to make it to your work location within three (3) hours, the individual should advise their principal and input a Code 13.  Please note, it is not recommended to call a Code 13 early in the morning as conditions may improve.

We hear you, we promise that. This is an increasingly tense situation and we have initiated a plan to express your concerns to the board. Please do not think that we are taking this lightly and that we are not doing anything about it.

If you are asked by your Principal or Supervisor to attend a meeting regarding the use of your absence codes. It is important to know that it is your right to have a union representative present when being investigated. We encourage you to contact the office to ensure you have representation and guidance. Call the Office at 705-739-7232.  

Payroll Updates
You may have noticed an increased deduction to your Long-Term Disability in January. With the assistance of our Broker and her negotiation skills she was able to negotiate a lower increase then Great West Life proposed. Due to the increased number of claims we are seeing she was unable to negotiate status quo this y

    2018 2019    
Long Term Disability (%)   2.245 2.425 8.0% increase  
           
           
Board   1.082 1.082   (0.00)
Employee   1.163 1.163   (0,18)
1. The employee portion of benefit costs is based on a 1.0 FTE          
2. 10 month employees pay an additional portion for benefits on each pay to cover the summer premiums.          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a more positive note, as negotiated as part of the Contract Extension 2017-2019, we received a 1% pay increase effective February 1st, 2019. Our last increase of the Contract Extension comes on August 31st, 2019. This is also the date that our current agreements expire.  

Central Negotiations
In preparation for the start of negotiations, your Sector 3 - Boards of Education and Cultural Institution Executive have begun planning. We are fortunate to have 4 Local 330 Executive on the Sector 3 Executive. The members are; Kelly Martin (Chair), Sandra Cadeau (Treasurer) Jason Barker (Secretary) and Bonnie Eddy (member at large).  We are currently working with OPSEU Negotiations team on the development of the Central Demand-Set survey. Once this has been completed and approved it will be emailed out through OPSEU Provincial Communications Department to all email address on file. We will also post and send out a reminder and the link through the local email list to ensure we reach as many members as we can for input by ranking the Central demands. Following completion of the demand set survey the results will be calculated, presented and discussed with the delegates at our School Board Bargaining Conference in late March. Attendees at this conference are the current Sector Executive and the Local President/designate from each OPSEU Education Local.

Benefit Trust
If you are enrolled in the Benefit Trust plan with OTIP/Manulife you will be or may have already received an email from OTIP advising you that you will be receiving a T4A slip for Income Tax purposes. This slip is to reflect the Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy that is included with the plan. In the past this information was included on the employer's T4 slip when they were paying the premiums. Now that OTIP is the plan administrator the issuance of this information comes from them. This year, because of the Benefit Trust commencing in June, this will also be included on the Employer's T4, as well as T4A from OTIP for income tax purposes.

Local News
General Membership Meeting – Save the Date -March 19th, 2019
We will be holding a General Membership Meeting to elect our delegates to the Regional Meeting, and OPSEU's Convention. Elected delegates represent the opinions of the local and vote on our members behalf on the Resolutions and Constitution proposed amendments or changes. Updates will also be discussed on Central Negotiations, Benefit Trust, Pay Equity and Local updates and issues. Based on the success of our previous meetings we will continue the new traditions of social time with music, more prizes throughout the meeting, as well as providing light refreshments and having a cash bar.

OMERS
I am working on scheduling two dates for OMER’s One on One sessions. Please watch for information on registration once I have confirmed dates. I will also be looking at an evening OMERS and Retirement Benefits workshop.

OPSEU Local 330 Social
We are working on planning an evening social. A bus trip to “Come From Away”.
Please watch for details. Information will be sent out soon.  

Please like and join us on OPSEU 330 Facebook and Twitter

Stay safe,
Kelly Martin
President

 

 

Benefit Trust Update

Benefit Trust Update – for all those “currently” enrolled in benefits

I received the following update from our OPSEU Negotiator. At this time a release will not be sent out from OCEW, and therefore was told that I can share the email.

“I want to let you know that there are some legal issues that are delaying the OCEW enrollment process. As a result, eligible members have not yet received the welcome kit/package from the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP), and in some cases, some Locals may have had your school boards tell you that the June 1st rollout date is not confirmed.

June 1st still remains the target date for the benefit transition and OCEW is working on resolving these issues as soon as possible. Once these issues are resolved members will be provided with instructions on the enrollment process.

I will continue to update all of you with any new information.”

As I receive information from the Employer or OPSEU Staff, an update will be provided. If you have any questions, or if concerns come up regarding your current benefits please email me at opseu330@bellnet.ca  

Sincerely,
Kelly Martin
President

 

One Pay Benefit Holiday!

If you currently have benefits with Great West Life, you may have noticed that tomorrow’s pay was a little more then normal, and that is because there were no benefit deductions on this pay. This has nothing to do with the rollover to the new upcoming Provincial Benefit Trust, this was a “benefit holiday” from your local.

Prior to the Local being the Policy Holder to the current benefit plan with Great West Life, our benefits were part of a different benefit trust and as a result of that trust dissolving, there were monies left over, that were eventually given back to the locals to be disbursed amongst the members that were currently paying for benefits. The first reimbursement happened in 2014. A second payment was received from the trust in name of the local to again use towards benefits, so with that, I approached some of the Local Executive with the idea to provide a benefit holiday. It was decided to make it effective on the last pay in May, as the new Benefit Trust is expected to rollover June 1st, 2018. I was hoping for the month of May but unfortunately, with the cost of benefits, the funds we had were only enough to cover one pay of benefit deductions.

10 Month Employees
You may have also noticed, a reduction in deductions, resulting in a slightly higher pay, since March 23, 2018. 10 month employees pay a portion of benefits for July and August throughout the year, from Sept until June. Prior to March 23, 2018, you would have been deducted 14% more of the bi-weekly amount to cover the cost of benefits over the summer. The monies that have been deducted from August or September 2017 until the March 23, 2018 pay will eventually be refunded through the employer once the new Benefit plan is in place. Once I have the date that employees will receive the reimbursement I will send out a quick notice.

I have asked for a Benefit Trust update, as it is past May 16th, and we have not received the packages or member portal information for the new Benefit Plan. I have asked for OCEW to send out an update. Once I have received the update, I will send out a local update as well.  

If you have any questions please email opseu330@bellnet.ca or call the office at
705-739-7232.

Hopefully this helps everyone enjoy a safe and relaxing May Long Weekend!
Regards,
Kelly Martin
President

 

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OCEW Update - Benefit Trust

Please see the attached Benefit Trust update from the Ontario Council of Education Workers (OCEW). Please join us on May 15, 2018, for our Meet and Greet General Membership meeting. Come out and meet your fellow union members and your local Executive. Benefit Trust will be on the agenda, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions and get information. The flyer will be sent out shortly.

<OCEW Press Release> <Plan Welcome Letter> <Plan Summary> <Plan Frequently asked Questions>

If you have any questions please contact Kelly Martin, at opseu330@bellnet.ca

 

Benefit Trust Update & General Membership Meeting- Save the Date

The OCEW – Ontario Council of Education Workers met on April 10th, to review and finalize the new plan details. OPSEU Staff Negotiator, Anastasios Zafiriadis has confirmed a few details with me that I wanted to send out while we wait for an official OCEW update. He has confirmed that the new date of June 1st , 2018, has been set as the plan rollover date by the Council and OTIP. He further explained that Website registration instructions and plan information will be sent to all “currently enrolled” benefit plan members by Mid-May. The last few details are requiring signatures to finalize and approve the plan structure and once they are received, the official update with more details will be sent out.

While we recognize that the change in benefit plans has been an enhancement through Central Bargaining that many have been patiently waiting for, the process of implementation and accurate timelines and information has been painstaking. We are happy to know that we are very close to being a part of the Benefit Trust.  

Due to the change in the Benefit Trust rollover date back in April, I had decided to wait to schedule our Spring General Membership meeting until I had some finalized information of the plan. Based on what has recently been confirmed, we will be having our Spring General Membership Meeting on May 15th , at Ferndale Banquet Hall in Barrie. The Executive and I, have decided to make the General Membership meeting, an OPSEU Local 330 Social Event, combined with a meeting.  There will be live music before and after the meeting, hors d’oeuvres and snacks,a cash bar will be open, and there will be lots of door prizes to give away!

We hope that you will come out and mingle with your 330 Team and it’s Fabulous members! Flyer and agenda to follow.  Save the Date – evening of May 15th, 2018.

It’s important to be informed and educated about your union and your right’s! This is an opportunity to bring your concerns, ask question or just listen to the information shared.

Looking forward to seeing you,
Kelly Martin
President

 

OCEW Benefit Plan Press Release = March 7th 2018

Please see the attached Benefit Trust update from the Ontario Council of Education Workers (OCEW).
Press Release here.

Bill 115 Remedy and Central Benefit Trust Updates.

Bill 115 Remedy Update 

The Ministry has proceeded with the Transfer Payments to the school boards. OPSEU and the Board are confirming the list of payees with the expectation to have the monies paid by the end of February. As soon as I have received confirmation of payment details I will send an update.  

Bill 115 Remedy is for members of OPSEU who worked for the Simcoe County District School Board in the school years, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. Please ensure OPSEU and the School Board have your current and up to date information, i.e. mailing address, name changes. If you are a current employee, you are required to update this information with HR at the board when this information changes.   If you are a retired employee please contact OPSEU 330. If you have any questions please contact the office at 705-739-7232 or by email at opseu330@bellnet.ca.  

Benefit Trust  

The next Central Benefit Trust meeting is scheduled for February 14th and an update will be provided following the meeting. As of last week, I, (Kelly), am now representing OPSEU and OCEW on the Central Benefit Trust Committee and will attend the next meeting.  

 

I understand your continued frustration with how slow things have gone, in moving both Agreements to fruition, considering the financial impact both will have. No one would be happier to have these items in place and resolved to their entirety than me.  As both agreements are progressing forward, there aren't changes and updates as often as we would like and please trust that when I have information to share I will and if I am not sharing, I am waiting for an update. Once there is information to share as always, it will be posted on the opseu330.com Website, our Facebook page and Twitter, and an email will be sent to our membership email list. 

 

Sincerely,  

Kelly Martin 
President 

Two Recent Press Releases from OPSEU and OCEW

Many of you may have received an email blast directed at the members of OPSEU's Sector 3 - Boards of Education and Cultural Institutions, if OPSEU Communications has ever received your email address. For the benefit of the members who are not on OPSEU corporate email lists, we have added the press release here. It details the important first step in negotiations on our path to our new benefit plan. We will have more detailed information as the negotiation process continues, but this step needed to happen before the rest of the process can continue.

For the past few years at the OPSEU Convention, OPSEU has been attempting to showcase the talents of the members of the union across the province. This year, they have added the chance to win even more money on your journey to union Stardom! If you can sing, dance, tell jokes, or have other entertaining talents, you can enter for a chance to win up to $1500 bucks in the Region, and a chance to win more at the Convention. If you're interested, click on the link for more information!

 

Expect a more indepth update very soon.

 

Benefit Deductions for 2017

Our benefit plan is set up for annual renewal, which means that components of our plan and the amount we pay may change every January. Great West Life looks at its costs and expenses compared to the amount that our members and the employer contribute through our payroll deductions and determine any adjustments that are needed to cover the plan. Unfortunately, the employer’s contributions, as per our Collective Agreement remain the same from year to year. Therefore, our members absorb any additional costs associated with any benefit premium increases. As this Friday is the first payroll period of the 2017 year, if you carry benefits you will notice an increase to your deductions.

Due to an increase in prescription use, an increase in specific medication costs and an increase in the number of members receiving Long Term Disability(LTD) funds, Great-West Life proposed a significant increase to our benefit plan. Thanks to the efforts of Diana, our benefits broker associate and through her knowledge and deal-making skills, the increase costs were negotiated down to 10.4% for 2017.

In light of the time it has taken to find out information regarding the Benefit Trust and due to the delay in implementation, the Benefit Committee and I have decided to advise our benefit broker to take our plan to market to see if there are more advantageous savings with other insurance companies. We will keep you posted as to our findings and any changes that may take place from either the Central Benefit Trust, or going to market.

We have attached the 2017 Benefit Chart which details the breakdown of increases for each Benefit category. It outlines if it is taken as a single person, or for a family.
Please also note that 10 month employees will have additional deductions in order to cover the costs for benefits for July and August.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email the office at opseu330@bellnet.ca or 705-739-7232

Kelly Martin
President

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Benefit Deductions for 2016

Our benefit plan is set up for annual renewal, which means that components of our plan and the amount we pay may change every January. Great West Life looks at its costs and expenses compared to the amount that our members and the employer contribute through our payroll deductions and determine any adjustments that are needed to cover the plan. Unfortunately, the employer’s contributions, as per our Collective Agreement remain the same from year to year. Therefore, our members absorb any additional costs associated with any benefit premium increases.

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