In a hard-earned three-year settlement, UTFA’s benefits coverage will be expanded in several areas. The mental health maximum will be increased to $5,000 (up from $3,000). Marriage therapists, family therapists, and addiction counsellors have been added to the eligible professionals under the psychologist group and the rates covered will be increased from “reasonable and customary amounts” to “no less than the Ontario Psychological Association’s recommended hourly rate.”
Vision care coverage will increase to $700 every 24 months (up from $450) and the costs of laser eye surgery for vision correction have been added as an eligible vision care expense. Major restorative dental will go up from $2,800 to $5,000. The annual combined cap for paramedical services will go up to $2,500 (up from $1,250), with chiropodists added to the list of paramedical services covered. Orthodontics coverage will increase to 75 per cent and a lifetime maximum of $5,000 (up from 50 per cent to a maximum of $2,500).
In salary and monetary gains, members received an across-the-board salary increase of one per cent for both July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021. Progress-the-ranks (PTR) increases paid on July 1, 2021 will be augmented with an additional payment to reflect a one per cent increase in breakpoints and increments. PTR for the 2021-22 assessment period will be paid on July 1, 2022, to reflect a one per cent increase in breakpoints and increments. Minimum Per Course Stipend and Overload Rates will increase from $17,895 to $18,255, effective on date of ratification.
All remaining issues in year 3 have been made subject to arbitration. Notably, UTFA is seeking important policy changes related to workload and an increase to the number of librarian research days. UTFA has tabled additional benefit improvements for Year 3 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) and will continue to resist university administration proposals that would reduce health benefits for retirees.