Members who participate in a couple of our voluntary employee-paid insurance plans will soon see their premiums go down as a result of the June meeting of the Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits.
The Optional Life Insurance plans (Optional Life, Dependent Life and Reducing Life) plans have surpluses that are higher than required to ensure there’s enough money to cover claims. Since September 2012, we have used some of those surpluses to provide a 30-per cent subsidy on the premiums that members pay. We are increasing that subsidy to 50 per cent. The change will come into effect when the policies are renewed on September 1. We will continue to monitor the plans to ensure it is still prudent to maintain the subsidies for approximately 4,000 CBC employees who have chosen to participate in those plans.
The Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Plan also has been operating with a surplus. Over the years, we have either had premium contribution holidays or subsidies for plan members. This year, we will actually see a premium decrease. The rate will drop by 25 per cent when the policy is renewed on July 1, and the new rate is guaranteed for one year.
Another change is in the works under the AD&D plan. In the past, the only way CBC employees could get Global Medical Assistance (GMA) coverage for personal international travel was through the AD&D plan. The unions and CBC are now working on an approach that would see GMA coverage for all CBC employees who come under the Supplemental Health Plan. Stay tuned for details in the fall of this year.
The CCSB had updates at the June meeting on both the CBC Pension Plan and the CBC Group RRSP. Both performed well during 2013. The CBC Pension Plan continues to meet its objectives on the financial side, but both the unions and CBC Pensioners Association have been hearing complaints about the quality and speed of service from the Pension Administration Centre. We spent a significant amount of our discussions with the pension plan’s managing director reinforcing the call to make it easier for CBC employees, especially those approaching retirement, to get clear answers on their individual questions in a timely fashion. We were told the performance is improving, but we think there still is a lot of room for improvement.
The CCSB has agreed to help the Employee Assistance Program with a new project aimed at musculoskeletal pain in the workplace. We have approved $15,000 from the Employees/Retirees Funds on Deposit for a corporation-wide campaign that should be rolling out in the fall. It will provide CBC employees with a simple tool that can be used a work or home to help ease some of the aches and strains that come from the kind of work we do at the CBC. The EAP has no money in its budget to take on this work, but it fits completely with the objective that we have had to improve ergonomics and musculoskeletal health at the CBC.
The June meeting of the CCSB was the first since the CBC Branch Executive selected your new representatives to the committee. Your new members are Michael D’Souza, Annick Forest, Eric Foss and Michael Robert. Returning members are Marc-Philippe Laurin, Jon Soper and Dan Oldfield. Our Ottawa-based staff representative Gabi Durocher also participated in our meetings.