The CMG had nominated Secretary-Treasurer Calum McLeod to be the next employee representative on the CBC Pension Board of Trustees. He will replace Jon Soper, whose term on the pension board expires on March 31, 2018. Calum’s nomination received unanimous support from other CBC unions during the September meeting of the Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits (CCSB) in Ottawa. It’s expected Calum will attend Jon’s final pension board meeting in late March as an observer before taking on his new duties. The new appointment will become official once it has been approved by the CBC Board of Directors. The board of trustees has seven members, including two employee members, a pensioner, two members of the CBC Board of Directors and the two CBC vice-presidents responsible for finance and human resources.
The CMG continues to monitor the federal government’s plan for extending Employment Insurance parental benefits to 18 months, effective Jan. 1, 2018. We’ve asked the CBC how it is preparing for the changes, but up to the September CCSB the federal government has not released details of how the program changes will be put into effect. That’s meant employers such as the CBC and unions cannot properly advise members about how they will be effected. The CBC and unions have agreed to work together to update members as soon as Ottawa provides more information on the change first announced in the March 2017 budget.
During the September CCSB, we discussed the extent to which CBC health coverage for paramedical services such as massage therapy and vision care have fallen behind since the last major review of benefits negotiated about 20 years ago. We are trying to find creative ways of improving some benefits without leading to a reduction in others, but it’s not an easy discussion. CBC rejected our proposal to extend insurance coverage to certified psychotherapists, which can perform some of the counselling functions of psychologists (which are covered) but at half the cost. This could have been a win-win. The CBC says it cannot afford to improve any benefits if it leads to an overall increase in its supplemental healthcare budget.
The meeting included a continuing discussion over the corporation’s refusal to cover medical marijuana under its plan. The CBC says Health Canada has not issued a Drug Identification Number (DIN) for marijuana so insurers have not included it in drug plans
The CCSB also welcomed the CMG’s new Atlantic staff representative, Enrico Di Fruscio, as an observer at the September meeting. As part of his duties, Enrico will be assisting CMG members who have applied for or are receiving Long Term Disability benefits.
CMG representatives at the September CCSB:
Enrico Di Fruscio (staff)
Olivier Roy (staff)