Long Term Disability Trust Update


Brothers and Sisters:

There have been many developments with our benefits over the past year. As of March 1, 2018,
our Life, Health and Dental benefits moved from individual school board plans into the CUPE
Education Workers Benefit Trust (CUPE EWBT). As with any major transition, there have been
some challenges, but our general feedback has been positive.

Our Long-term Disability (LTD) plan, for which you pay 100% of the premiums, are in a trust
fund, managed by a Board of Trustees made up of CUPE Local 4222 and Local 7575 members.
Last year – for the first time in 11 years – the plan required a rate increase. Our carrier (GreatWest Life) initially proposed a 42% increase, but we negotiated it down to a 15% increase to
1.93% of salary.

We were able to negotiate a lower rate increase based on ongoing benefits change in the
education sector, and with the promise that we would continue to monitor claims levels.
However, the number of LTD claims in our plan continues to rise:

Date Open LTD claims Disabled Life Reserves
End of November 2017 29 $3,157,719
End of December 2018 50 $4,372,142
This represents a 72 % increase in open LTD claims, and a 39% increase in reserves.

We have entered into negotiations on next year’s premiums with Great-West Life and have
asked them to report back on this large increase, so we can learn what is driving it. Factors that
usually impact LTD claims include working conditions, age and work stress, but we need to
know more about what is impacting our claims specifically.

More broadly, LTD rates are rising across the province. That’s why CUPE Ontario has been
working with other non-teacher groups in the education sector to investigate potential provincewide LTD solutions to the LTD challenge.

The good news is, we have a comprehensive LTD plan that is helping our members who are
most in need. The challenge is that continued increases in claims could lead to higher LTD rates
going forward.

We will keep you informed as negotiations continue and will report back to the membership with
our options.

Yours in solidarity,

Joanne Dowswell
Chair CUPE Local 4222 and Local 7575 LTD Trust