ARTICLE 23 - HEALTH AND WELFARE**

             I. Eligibility

             II. Short Term Plan Benefit

             III. Recurring Disabilities**

             IV. Doctor's Certificate of Inability to Work**

             V. Integration with other Disability Income

             VI. Benefits Not Paid During Certain Periods

             VII. Employee to Inform Employer

             VIII. Entitlement

              IX. E.I.C. Premium**

              X. Benefits Upon Layoff or Separation

23.03 - Basic Medical Insurance

23.04 - Extended Health Care Plan**

23.05 - Dental Plan**

23.06 - Group Life Insurance Plan**

23.07 - Medical and Dental Appointments

23.08 - Travel Time for Medical and Dental Care

23.09 - Air Travel Insurance

23.10 - Medical Examinations

23.11 - Employee Assistance Program

23.12 - Payment to Dependents on Death**

23.13 - Plan Card**

23.01 - Short Term Illness and Injury Plan

I. Eligibility

(a) Regular employees shall be covered by the Short Term Illness and Injury Plan as outlined in paragraph 23.01 I.(c) below upon completion of three months of active service with the Employer.

 

(b) Casual employees shall be eligible for the Short Term Illness and Injury Plan as outlined in clause 8.03.

 

(c) Regular and eligible casual employees with less than six months of service who are unable to work because of illness or injury are entitled to six days’ coverage at regular pay in any one calendar year. 

 

(d) Regular and eligible casual employees with three months but less than six months of service shall be entitled to 15 weeks (75 work days) of coverage, consisting of the above six days, or what remains of the six days’ entitlement, at regular pay, and the remainder of the 15 weeks at two-thirds of regular pay, not to exceed the current maximum weekly benefit of $425, or the Employment Insurance maximum weekly sickness benefit, whichever is higher.

 

(e) Notwithstanding (a), (b) and (c) above, where a regular employee is on a claim recognized by the Workers’ Compensation Board which occurred while the employee was on the Employer’s business, s/he shall be entitled to leave at his/her regular rate of pay for up to a maximum of 130 days for any one claim in lieu of benefits as outlined in 23.01 II. In such cases, the compensation payable by the Workers’ Compensation Board shall be remitted to the Employer.

 

(f) Employer and regular employee contributions and deductions for Superannuation and Employment Insurance during the period of absence will comply with statutory requirements.

 

(g) During the leave period the regular employee will receive net take home pay equal to wage loss benefits (inclusive of any earnings over and above basic pay) as calculated by the WCB, less any voluntary deductions and those employee deductions referenced in (f) above.

 

(h) If net take home pay as calculated in (g) above is less than the regular employee would have received if he/she had continued to work, the Employer will top up so there is no difference in net take home pay.

 

(i) Pay for a regular part-time employee under this Plan shall be based on his/her part-time percentage of full-time employment at the date of his/her present appointment.

 

II. Short Term Plan Benefit

(a) In the event an employee is unable to work because of illness or injury, s/he shall be entitled to a benefit of 75% of pay for a period not to exceed six months from the date of absence (STIIP). In any one calendar year, the first six working days of absence from work due to illness or injury shall be paid at 100% of pay.

 

(b) An employee who exhausts all or part of his/her six working days’ entitlement at 100% of regular pay in a calendar year shall have it reinstated in the following calendar year upon return to work.

 

(c) An employee who has accumulated sick leave credits under the old sick leave plan shall have his/her accumulated sick leave credits frozen. An employee may supplement his/her 75% of pay benefit under the new Plan to a maximum of 100% in the following sequence of priority:

1. using 25% of a day’s accumulation under the old sick leave plan for each day of absence under the new plan.

2. using time off credits excluding the 15 days’ annual basic vacation entitlement.

 

III. Recurring Disabilities**

(a) Employees who return to work after being absent because of illness or injury and within five consecutive scheduled days of work again become unable to work because of the same illness or injury are considered to still be within the original Short Term Plan period as defined in clause 23.01 II.(a).

 

(b) Employees who return to work after being absent because of illness or injury and within five consecutive scheduled work days again become unable to work because of a new illness or injury unrelated to the illness or injury that caused the previous absence shall be entitled to a further six months of benefits under this Plan.

 

(c) Employees who return to work after being absent because of illness or injury and after working five or more consecutive scheduled days of work again become unable to work because of the same illness or injury shall be entitled to a further six month period of benefits under this Plan, except as provided in (d) below, where the Short Term Plan period shall continue to be as defined in clause 23.01 II.(a).

 

(d) Where an employee is returning to work after a period of illness or injury and where the Return to Work Program has approved such return on a trial basis for assessment and/or rehabilitation purposes, the Short Term Plan period shall continue to be as defined in clause 23.01 II.(a). Such trial period must be approved during the period the employee is

receiving short term benefits; however, the end of the trial period can go beyond the original Short Term Plan benefit period.

 

(e) Employees who return to work after a period of illness or injury and who do not work the same number of hours that were scheduled prior to the illness or injury shall receive pro-rated benefits under this Plan but not, however, beyond six calendar months from the initial date of absence as defined in clause 23.01 II.(a) if the absence is due to the same illness or injury.

 

IV. Doctor's Certificate of Inability to Work**

(a) The Employer may require an employee who is unable to work because of illness or injury to provide medical evidence of the employee’s inability to work in any of the following circumstances:

i) where the employee has been absent for six consecutive scheduled days of work; or

ii) where at least 30 days have elapsed since the last medical statement was obtained and the employee has been in receipt of plan benefits throughout that period; or

iii) where it appears that a pattern of consistent or frequent absence from work is developing.

 

(b) The Employer may require an employee who is unable to work due to illness or injury to provide the medical evidence referred to in (a) from:

i) a medical practitioner qualified to practice in the province of British Columbia; or

ii) where necessary, from a medical practitioner licensed to practice in the Province of Alberta or the Yukon; or

iii) the consulting physician to whom the employee has been referred by the medical practitioner in (i) above.

 

(c) Benefits shall cease to be paid when an employee fails to provide satisfactory evidence of medical disability during the benefit period.

 

V. Integration with other Disability Income

(a) Short term benefits shall be reduced by all other disability income benefits to which the absent employee is entitled, except disability income which was being received prior to the illness or injury resulting in the employee being absent from work and which is unrelated to the illness or injury causing the current absence and the 25% of a day’s accumulation from the old sick leave plan that is being used to supplement the new plan. Other disability income benefits shall include:

1. any amount the absent employee receives from any group insurance, wage continuation or pension plan of the Employer;

2. any amount of disability income provided by any compulsory act or law, except Employment Insurance sickness benefits and WCB benefits payable in accordance with clause 23.01 I(d);

3. Any periodic benefit payment from the Canada or Quebec pension plan or other social security plan of any country.

 

(b) Notwithstanding the above, in the case of I.C.B.C. weekly indemnity payments or, in the case of personal insurance coverage, integration shall apply to the extent that the combination of Plan benefits and I.C.B.C. weekly indemnity payments, or personal insurance disability income benefits, exceed either:

1. 100% of pay;

2. the applicable benefit percentage of the individual’s average total monthly income in the 12 month period immediately preceding commencement of the disability, whichever is the greater. Where this provision is to apply, the employee shall be required to provide satisfactory evidence of his/her total monthly income.

 

(c) Notwithstanding the above, where an employee makes a successful wage loss claim against a third party for an injury for which the employee received or would receive STIIP benefits, the Employer shall be entitled to recover or decrease Plan benefits by an amount equal to the amount that Plan benefits in combination with the wage loss claim paid exceed 100% of pay.

 

(d) This clause does not apply to a war disability pension paid under an Act of the Governments of Canada or other Commonwealth countries.

 

VI. Benefits Not Paid During Certain Periods

(a) Benefits shall not be paid when an employee is:

1. receiving designated paid holiday pay;

2. engaged in an occupation for wage or profit;

3. on strike or is locked out unless the strike or lockout occurred after the illness or injury which resulted in the employee being absent from work;

4. serving a prison sentence;

5. on suspension without pay;

6. on paid absence in the period immediately preceding retirement;

7. on any leave of absence without pay.

 

(b) Notwithstanding 7. above, where an illness or injury occurs during a period of approved:

1. education leave;

2. maternity leave;

3. general leave of absence not exceeding 30 days, which prevents the employee from returning to work on the scheduled date of return, the Short Term Plan shall be effective from the date of disability due to illness or injury and benefits shall be paid for the balance of the six-month period remaining from the scheduled date of return to work.

 

VII. Employee to Inform Employer

The employee shall inform the Employer as soon as possible of his/her inability to report to work because of illness or injury. The employee shall make every reasonable effort to inform the Employer of the date of return to duty, in advance of that date. In those instances where the returning employee does not provide sufficient advance notice to allow the Employer to cancel any relief provided, the returning employee shall not work for that day of mandatory payment to

the relief, and the time involved shall be charged against the returning employee's sick leave credits.

 

VIII. Entitlement

For the purpose of calculating six days per calendar year, one day shall be considered to be one day regardless of the regularly scheduled work day. Calculation for part-time employees and partial days shall be on a pro-rated basis (e.g. a half-time employee receives six half days).

 

IX. E.I.C. Premium**

The complete premium reduction from the Human Resources Development Canada Insurance Commission accruing through the improved illness and injury plan shall be returned to the Employer.

 

X. Benefits Upon Layoff or Separation 

(a) Subject to (b) and (c) below, regular employees who have completed three months of service and who are receiving benefits pursuant to 23.01 I.(c), 23.01 I. 1(d), or 23.01 II. shall continue to receive such benefits upon layoff or separation until the termination of the illness or until the maximum benefit entitlement has been granted, whichever comes first, if the notice of layoff or separation is given after the commencement of the illness for which benefits are being paid.

 

(b) In the event that layoff or separation notice was given prior to the commencement of the illness, benefits shall cease on the effective date of the layoff or separation only if the illness commenced within two months of the effective date of the layoff or separation.

 

(c) Benefits shall continue to be paid in accordance with (a) above, for which notice of layoff or separation was given prior to the commencement of the illness and if the illness commenced more than two months before the effective date of the layoff or separation.

 

23.02 - Long Term Disability Plan

(a) The current Long Term Disability Plan shall be maintained subject to such changes which may be agreed to from time to time between the parties to this Agreement.

 

(b) With the employee’s written consent, the Employer shall advise the Union when an employee is provided with application forms for Long Term Disability.

 

(c) In order to facilitate (b) above, the Union shall supply the Employer with a letter to the employee and a consent form for inclusion by the Employer with application forms for Long Term Disability when issued.

 

(d) An employee who qualifies for LTD shall receive a monthly benefit equal to the sum of:

1. 68.3% of the first $2,200.00 of basic pay, and

2. 50% of the basic pay above $2,200.00.

 

(e) An employee on the Long Term Disability Plan who is cleared to work within two years shall be accepted into any position for which s/he is qualified as soon as a position is available at his/her regular point of assembly; in the interim, s/he shall be included as supplementary to the Staffing Pool. Upon his/her return s/he shall be granted a pro-rated

six days’ sick leave entitlement under the Short Term Illness and Injury Plan, and upon successful completion of six months’ service, shall be entitled to all other benefits.

 

(f) An employee who is on the Long Term Disability Plan who is cleared to return to work after two years and prior to five years, shall be considered for vacant positions at his/her point of assembly.

 

23.03 - Basic Medical Insurance

All regular employees may choose to be covered by the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia. The Employer shall pay 100 per cent of the regular premium. Benefits and premium rates shall be in accordance with the applicable policy of the plan.

 

23.04 - Extended Health Care Plan**

(a) The Employer shall pay the monthly premium for regular employees entitled to coverage under a mutually acceptable extended health care plan.

 

(b) The maximum life time benefit for each covered family member for medical benefits is $30,000.00 (effective November 1, 2000: $40,000.00).

 

(c) The Employer will amend its Extended Health Benefit Plan provisions to provide the following:

1. Hearing aids - $400.00 per ear payable once every 48 months; (effective November 1, 2000: $700.00)

2. Corrective lenses - $125.00 payable once every 24 months for adults and once every 12 months for children.

3. Diabetes - the cost of needles or, where prescribed by the employee's physician, needleless insulin injectors. Where needleless insulin injectors are purchased, the maximum payable will be $500.00 once every 60 months and cost of needles will not be claimable during that 60 month period.

4. Fees of a registered psychologist - up to a maximum of $500.00 claimable per family per year.

5. Hairpieces for chemotherapy patients - not to exceed $200.00 claimable every 24 months.

6. Effective (September 15, 2000), the amount reimbursed for any drug prescription shall be restricted to payment for the low cost alternative and/or reference based priced drugs, as identified by the Pharmacare Program.

7. Effective (September 15, 2000) acupuncture coverage to a maximum claimable of $100.00 per employee per year and $250.00 per family per year.

 

(d) "Payable" means that the capped amount is reimbursable in full and the Plan deductible amounts and co-insurance percentages do not apply.

 

(e) Coverage will cease on the day an employee’s employment terminates, excluding retirement on the Superannuation Plan or Long Term Disability, provided the premiums are paid by the Superannuation Plan or the LTD carrier, as applicable.

 

23.05 - Dental Plan**

(a) The Employer shall pay the monthly premium for employees entitled to coverage under a

mutually acceptable plan which provides:

1. Plan A, 100% coverage;

2. Plan B, 60% coverage; (effective November 1, 2000, 65%)

3. Plan C, 50% coverage.

 

(b) Orthodontic services are subject to a lifetime maximum payment of $5,000 per patient.

 

(c) Effective (September 15, 2000), the cleaning of teeth (prophylaxis and scaling) shall be every nine months except dependent children (up to age 19) and those gum diseases or other dental problems as approved by the plan.

 

(d) Coverage will cease on the day an employee’s employment terminates, excluding retirement on the Superannuation Plan Long Term Disability, provided the premiums are paid by the Superannuation Plan or the LTD carrier as applicable.

 

23.06 - Group Life Insurance Plan**

(a) The Employer shall provide a mutually acceptable group life plan with benefits equivalent to three times an employee's basic annual salary, with $65,000.00 minimum. The Employer shall pay 100 per cent of the premium on the $65,000.00 base and the employee shall pay the premium for any insurance over $65,000.00.

 

(b) As a condition of employment, all eligible employees shall enrol in the group life plan and shall complete the appropriate payroll deduction authorization forms.

 

(c) Coverage will cease on the day an employee’s employment terminates, excluding retirement on the Superannuation Plan or Long Term Disability, provided the premiums are paid by the Superannuation Plan or the LTD carrier.

 

(d) The group life plan shall include the following provisions for the accidental loss of: 

1. both hands or feet the principal sum

2. sight of both eyes the principal sum

3. one hand and one foot the principal sum

4. one hand or one foot and sight of one eye the principal sum

5. one hand or one foot one-half the principal sum

6. sight of one eye one-half the principal sum

7. life the principal sum

 

23.07 - Medical and Dental Appointments

Where it is not reasonably possible to schedule medical and/or dental appointments outside regularly scheduled working hours, reasonable time off for medical and dental appointments for employees shall be granted. Where any such absence exceeds two hours, it shall be charged against the employee's STIIP entitlement.

 

23.08 - Travel Time for Medical and Dental Care

Employees in areas where adequate medical and dental facilities are not available shall be allowed to deduct from their sick leave credits the necessary return travelling time to receive personal or immediate family medical and dental care at the nearest medical centre. The Employer may request a certificate of a qualified medical or dental practitioner, as the case may be, stating that the treatment could not be provided by facilities or services available at the employee's place of residence.

 

23.09 - Air Travel Insurance

Employees travelling by air on Corporation business are covered by air travel insurance in the amount of $75,000.00 per employee. The coverage includes the time spent travelling directly between the airport and the employee's place of residence or employment.

 

23.10 - Medical Examinations

Other than a medical examination required under the Short Term Illness and Injury Plan, where the Employer requires an employee to submit to a medical examination or medical interview, or where a medical examination is required by a regulation made pursuant to a statute, it shall be at the Employer's expense and on the Employer's time.

 

23.11 - Employee Assistance Program

The Union and the Employer shall maintain membership in the B.C. Transportation Employee Assistance Society.

 

23.12 - Payment to Dependents on Death**

(a) Where an employee dies, the following amounts shall be paid to the dependants of the deceased: one month’s basic salary for every year of continuous service up to a maximum of six months’ basic salary. Payment to dependants is made to:

1. the legal husband or wife, who shall be considered a dependant regardless of income, provided that the employee was cohabiting with the legal spouse at the time of death;

2. a common-law spouse, provided that the deceased employee and the common-law spouse had been cohabiting for at least 12 consecutive months or less than 12 months provided that the deceased employee had contributed significantly to the support of the children of the common-law spouse;

3. minor children of the deceased employee;

4. dependant relatives between the ages of 19 and 60, provided that acceptable documentation is submitted to the Employer.

 

(b) Effective November 1, 1998 the dependants of an employee who dies during the first two years that the employee is on Long Term Disability benefits shall be entitled to the benefits in (a) of this clause, based upon the basic salary the employee was paid at the time that s/he was accepted on Long Term Disability.

 

23.13 - Plan Card**

As soon as possible following the signing of a renewal Collective Agreement, an employee entitled to the Extended Health Benefit Plan shall be issued a Plan Card to be used for the deductible amounts prescribed by such plan.