B.C.'S UNION SINCE 1919

Arbitration win secures benefits for community health members - BCGEU


As a result of a win at arbitration, we have ensured that community health members have access to all benefits in the collective agreement. (Read the details below under Appendix E)

In 2013, members with superior benefit memorandums covered by the Health Services and Support Community Subsector Collective Agreement (Community Agreement) lost their superior benefit health and welfare plans and joined the standard health & welfare benefits plan. In negotiations for the 2014–2019 Community Agreement, improvements and changes to the standard health and welfare plans were agreed to, including a Medical Referral Transportation Benefit.

In early 2016, a BCGEU member from Northern Health Authority filed a grievance based on the denial of her Medical Referral Transportation claim.

The Health Employers Association of B.C. (HEABC) took the position that they had not negotiated improved benefits for anyone who had a superior benefits memorandum. Our union's position was that we had negotiated the improvements for all members.

We won at arbitration!

The arbitrator agreed that the member was entitled to the Medical Referral Transportation Benefit and all other health and welfare improvements negotiated in the Collective Agreement 2014-2019.

This decision allowed our union to file the policy grievance that led to the settlement.

We reached a settlement agreement that provides the coverage contained in Appendix E (below) effective January 1, 2017 for all members of the Community Subsector bargaining unit.

Appendix E

  • The dental plan will be the same as the facilities plan except it will retain the 9-month recall period. 
  • Massage therapy will remain at $1,000 per year maximum reimbursed at 80% of the annual maximum.
  • PharmaCare's Low Cost Alternative and Reference Based Drug programs will apply to reimbursement of the cost of Prescription drugs.
  • Prometrium will be added as an exceptional covered prescription drug.
  • The cap on dispensing fees will remain at $10 or PharmaCare maximum.
  • Wigs or Hairpieces will be reimbursed at 80% of the full lifetime maximum of $500 per person. 
  • LTD – the pre-existing condition restriction will be removed.
  • Medical Referral Transportation benefits will be unlimited for a beneficiary's lifetime.
  • Those members who moved to a PharmaCare tie in during the 2012 – 2014 collective agreement will receive 50% reimbursement for drugs not covered by PharmaCare.
  • Employees who apply for ERIB may choose to continue to maintain the Extended Health Benefit plan and Dental plan coverage to age 65.  The premiums will be cost shared by the employer and employee on a 50 – 50 basis provided the employee pays her or his portion of the premium for such coverage in advance, on a monthly basis.

As a result of a win at arbitration, we have ensured that community health members have access to all benefits in the collective agreement. (Read the details below under Appendix E)

In 2013, members with superior benefit memorandums covered by the Health Services and Support Community Subsector Collective Agreement (Community Agreement) lost their superior benefit health and welfare plans and joined the standard health & welfare benefits plan. In negotiations for the 2014–2019 Community Agreement, improvements and changes to the standard health and welfare plans were agreed to, including a Medical Referral Transportation Benefit.

In early 2016, a BCGEU member from Northern Health Authority filed a grievance based on the denial of her Medical Referral Transportation claim.

The Health Employers Association of B.C. (HEABC) took the position that they had not negotiated improved benefits for anyone who had a superior benefits memorandum. Our union's position was that we had negotiated the improvements for all members.

We won at arbitration!

The arbitrator agreed that the member was entitled to the Medical Referral Transportation Benefit and all other health and welfare improvements negotiated in the Collective Agreement 2014-2019.

This decision allowed our union to file the policy grievance that led to the settlement.

We reached a settlement agreement that provides the coverage contained in Appendix E (below) effective January 1, 2017 for all members of the Community Subsector bargaining unit.

Appendix E

  • The dental plan will be the same as the facilities plan except it will retain the 9-month recall period. 
  • Massage therapy will remain at $1,000 per year maximum reimbursed at 80% of the annual maximum.
  • PharmaCare's Low Cost Alternative and Reference Based Drug programs will apply to reimbursement of the cost of Prescription drugs.
  • Prometrium will be added as an exceptional covered prescription drug.
  • The cap on dispensing fees will remain at $10 or PharmaCare maximum.
  • Wigs or Hairpieces will be reimbursed at 80% of the full lifetime maximum of $500 per person. 
  • LTD – the pre-existing condition restriction will be removed.
  • Medical Referral Transportation benefits will be unlimited for a beneficiary's lifetime.
  • Those members who moved to a PharmaCare tie in during the 2012 – 2014 collective agreement will receive 50% reimbursement for drugs not covered by PharmaCare.
  • Employees who apply for ERIB may choose to continue to maintain the Extended Health Benefit plan and Dental plan coverage to age 65.  The premiums will be cost shared by the employer and employee on a 50 – 50 basis provided the employee pays her or his portion of the premium for such coverage in advance, on a monthly basis.