Newsletter February 2015

WSD 2015/16 Draft Budget Information

BY: Nathan Martindale, WTA President

The Winnipeg School Division is well into its process for developing the 2015/16 budget. The Draft Budget was presented at a Special meeting of the Board of Trustees on Monday, February 23rd. David Harack, WTA Secretary, and I attended the meeting as observers.

The overall expenditures included in the 2015/16 Draft Budget total $387,343,300. This represents an increase of 3.6% over the 2014/15 Final Budget.

The Board of Trustees has proposed a property tax increase of 3.7%.

As well, the following additions and enhancements have been included in the draft budget:

    1. Full-day Kindergarten Pilot Program continued in four schools ($225,000) Currently, this pilot program is funding via reserve funds, but will now fall under regular expenditures. The pilot will continue for the 2015/16 school year so that additional data can be collected and studied before decisions are made about expanding the pilot to other schools.
    2. Instructional supports for children coming out of the youth justice system to transition successfully back into school ($353,000) The Trustees feel it is important to allocate funding to meet this need as no dedicated funding is provided by the Province. This amount could include teaching positions.
    3. International Baccalaureate Expansion ($13,300) This amount represents strategic planning on/for the program, as well as expanding the program to the Junior High Level.
    4. STEAM enrichment classrooms ($25,000) These funds would provide equipment and/or supplies for the existing STEAM classrooms.
    5. Enrichment and Innovation program ($40,000)
    6. French Immersion recruitment ($250,000) This money would allow for increased flexibility in retention of French Immersion teachers as well as recruitment.
    7. Enhanced supports to integrate Emotional Behaviour Disordered students ($175,900) This amount represents staffing positions, but it has not been determined if the positions are Educational Assistants or teachers.
    8. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Junior High Program ($237,600)This amount would allow for an expansion of existing programming.
    9. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, High School Program ($237,600) This amount would allow for an expansion of existing programming.
    10. Aboriginal Elder position ($80,000) This would provide a full-time individual on staff who would provide support and guidance in a variety of capacities.
    11. Nursery in Dual Track School ($441,900) This amount would provide for Nursery programming in French in schools with the dual track program.
    12. Anxiety Program ($166,800) This amount would allow for an expansion of existing programming.
    13. Enhancements to the Sistema music program ($176,800) These funds would allow the existing program to expand into the Junior High level.
    14. Program and Policy Analyst, Parent/Community liaison, Information Systems Positions ($239,900)

The 2015/16 budget will be finalized by the middle of March, and the WTA will request more details on various items outlined above.

For more information on the Draft Budget, visit the Winnipeg School Division website. There are two documents that contain details on the budget, a survey for residents to complete as well as a Property Tax calculator. As well, the full Draft Budget presentation is available in slideshow format. If you have any questions or comments regarding the Draft Budget, or on another topic, please call the WTA Office at 204-831-7014 or contact the President atpres@wta.mb.ca from a non WSD email account.

 

Submitting Manulife Claims Online & On the App

By: Kristin Insull, WTA Vice-President

Some claims, such as custom orthotics, may not be able to be submitted online. Generally, prescriptions and visits to health care professionals are easily submitted. Claims submitted online are processed and monies deposited into your account typically within 4-5 business days.

In order to submit claims on the app, you must first register on the full website.

Go to http://www.manulife.ca

Choose Group Benefits – Plan member from the drop down menu.

Manulife - Plan Member

If you have not previously used Manulife’s online services, you will need to register.

You must be registered

You will require the Plan contract number (98240 for active teachers) and your Member certificate number (your WSD employee number). Make sure you provide banking information for direct deposit. Once registered, you can log in.

Plan contract number login

Once logged in, choose the “online claims” option from the right hand side menu.

You must now choose a series of options, from service provider type to patient name. You will have to enter all the information for each service provider only once. Make sure you have the registration number for each practitioner!

You may be asked if you have obtained a physicians referral for the expense. You do not require a referral for most expenses, so it’s ok to say “no”!

You must enter each expense individually. This information should be easily obtained from your receipt. Manulife may call practitioners to verify appointment dates and expenses.

You must accept the terms and conditions. Read this carefully. This includes keeping receipts for 12 months. You may be periodically audited. This means your claim will continue to be processed, but you must submit the original receipts by mail within a specified time frame.

Once you click submit, you will find out whether you are being audited or not.

The app is found by searching “Manulife Group Benefits”. You must have registered on the full site in order to access the mobile site capability. The log in information is the same. Once you are logged in, you can submit a claim by choosing “Submit a claim” under the menu in the top right corner. The process should look similar to what is found on the full site.

Renewal of Manulife Extended Health Benefits Plan

The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association Group Benefits Committee has approved renewal rates effective March 1, 2015 as follows:

Class A active single: $51.00
Class A active family: $106.00
Class B retired single: $62.03 (includes TRAF administration fee)
Class B retired family: $129.06 (includes TRAF administration fee)
Class D active single over the age of 65: $51.00
Class D active family over the age of 65: $106.00

These rates represent no change from the current rates for all classes in the EHC plan.

Summary of improvements to Manulife Extended Health Benefits Group Plan effective March 1, 2015:

Improved and new benefits for Classes A and D Maximums
Cardiac Rehab $300/person/2 calendar years
Other Medical Equipment $500/person/lifetime
Non-Emergency Ambulance $500/person/trip
Paramedicals $850/person/calendar year
Massage $850/person/calendar year
Foot Orthotics $500/person/2 calendar years
Navigator (Health) Assistance Added
Improved benefit for Class D Maximum
Travel Health Unlimited (30 day trip duration)
New benefit for Class B and H Maximum
Navigator (Health) Assistance Added

Manulife Provider E-Claims

Enjoy the convenience of having your health care providers submit claims for you!

Provider eClaims simplifies the claims experience for you by allowing health care providers to submit your claims to Manulife Financial right from their office.

In Manitoba, the following providers are able to submit claims on your behalf: physiotherapists, chiropractors, opticians, optometrists, massage therapists and naturopathic doctors.

Go here to find eligible health care providers near you.

How does it work?

  • Claims are typically adjudicated while you are still in the provider’s office, so in most situations, you’ll know right away how much is covered by your plan.
  • In many instances, you only have to pay the provider what the plan doesn’t cover for approved claims. Manulife then pays the balance directly to the provider. In other instances, you pay the entire amount of the claim and reimbursement for the covered portion will be automatically deposited into your bank account.
  • It is an entirely digital experience, eliminating the need to submit paper claim forms, and delivering electronic payment and statements.
  • There is no change to the way in which claims are adjudicated. All claims submitted by providers are still adjudicated through Manulife’s claims system.

What do you need to do?

Make sure you’re ready to take advantage of this completely digital service by getting activated on the Plan Member Secure Site, and signing up for direct deposit and electronic claims statements now. In addition to having access to Provider eClaims, your claims payments will also be conveniently deposited directly into your bank account and you’ll receive alerts when your claims are ready. Go tohttp://www.manulife.ca/planmember today to get ready.

Dental Plan Improvements in 2015

  • DEDUCTIBLE HOLIDAY

  • INCREASE TO ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT

The Group Benefits Committee of The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association has recently made improvements to the dental group plan.

In summary, the WTA has enacted a Deductible Holiday for the 2015 calendar year and increased the annual benefit maximum for orthodontics.

Deductibles are typically applied before you are reimbursed for dental care. Currently, the deductible for individuals is $25 each calendar year and the deductible for families is $50 each calendar year. Starting January 1, 2015, members of the plan will enjoy a Deductible Holiday meaning single and family members will not have to pay any deductible costs for any dental care treatments performed in 2015.

The basis of payment will continue to be The Manitoba Dental Association Fee Guide in effect January 1, 2015.

Reimbursement levels will also remain the same: routine treatment – 100%; major treatment – 60% and orthodontic treatment – 50%. Plan maximums for routine and major treatment will also continue unchanged at $2,500 per person each calendar year.

However, the plan maximum for orthodontic treatment effective January 1, 2015, will increase to $1,500 per person per calendar year. The maximum is currently $1,250 per person per calendar year.

The WTA Group Benefits Committee supervises insurance plans with the assistance of Aon Hewitt who provides consulting services in the administration of benefits services. The committee is pleased to improve the plan and will continue to carefully manage the program to offer dental coverage that is specific to WTA members’ needs.

WTA Counselling Program

As a WTA member you, or a family member, are entitled to up to 10 hours of free counselling services. The nature of the appointments can be for work, family or other issues. All counselling sessions are strictly confidential and no information is shared with the WTA office or the Winnipeg School Division. For further information on the counselling program, please contact Ms. Monique Raimbault at the number listed below.

The following counsellors are available to assist you at different locations across the city:

Ms. Monique Raimbault

(Wolseley/West End)
18-595 Clifton St.
Winnipeg, MB R3G 2X5
Phone: (204) 774-4269
Web link: www.moniqueraimbault.com

Mr. Jake Schmidt

(West Kildonan)
Keystone Counselling Associates
615-1630 Henderson Hwy
Winnipeg, MB R2G 2B9
Phone: (204) 338-3339
Fax: (204) 338-7906
Email: jakekca@shaw.ca
Service available: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, day time and evening.
Call for appointment times.

Ms. Janet Bergsgaard

(Downtown between Assiniboine and Broadway)
611 – 77 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H8
Phone: (204) 417-1203
Web link: www.janetbergsgaard.com

Ms. Lorrie Brubacher

(Downtown between Assiniboine and Broadway)
77 Edmonton St. Ste 611
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H8
Phone: (204) 221-4776
Web link: www.lbrubacher.com

Ray Stoyko $4000 Memorial Scholarship

The successful applicant will receive $4000 towards full-time enrollment in a Bachelor of Education degree program. The application deadline is the last teaching day of May of each school year. Completed application forms are to be returned to The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association, 202-2639 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3J 0P7 A copy of the detailed application form can be found here.

Ray Stoyko (1952-2007)

Ray Stoyko was elected the President of The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association in April, 2007. Prior to his full-time involvement with The Association, Ray taught English and Drama at Kelvin High School. He had a passion for the classics—both in literature and in art. He was a great supporter of local artists, including a number of his colleagues. As much as Ray had a passion for the arts, he had a greater passion for his profession—teaching. He was a true educator that instilled his love for literature and the arts into the minds of his students. Ray encouraged students to reach for the potential he knew they possessed.

Ray’s passion and dedication continued into The Association and for his fellow colleagues. One of his priorities for this organization was communication and member engagement. He knew that as the world and Winnipeg School Division were change/evolving—so must The WTA. Ray knew the importance of The Association. He believed in The WTA and for what it stands.

When Ray was the Chairperson of the Public Relations Committee, he advocated for and instituted the first WTA scholarships, awarded to a graduating student from each Winnipeg School Division High School. These scholarships continue to be awarded annually.

Ray was very proud to be the President of The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association. He was known as a quiet, intelligent, quick-witted, and thoughtful man. The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association is pleased to offer this scholarship in honour of his service.

General Information

2015 ELECTION OF THE WTA EXECUTIVE

Nominations accepted until March 10, 2015

March 2 is the deadline for members to self-nominate by declaring their intention to run. On or before March 10, candidates may be nominated in writing submitted with the signatures of ten members.

Executive Election will take place on April 13 & 14, 2015

An election by secret ballot will take place in schools and other workplaces.

WTA PRE-RETIREMENT SEMINARS

If you are 48 years of age or older and a WTA member, you can register for a WTA Pre-retirement Seminar.

The date of the seminar is 5:00 p.m., March 24, 2015.
Deadline for registration is March 10, 2015.

Please e-mail Michael Krauss at mkrauss@wta.mb.ca for your TRAF authorization number and process for registration.

THE WINNIPEG TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION RETIREMENT RECEPTION

When: June 10th, 2015
Where: Shaarey Zedek Synagogue
More Information to follow

DEPENDANT CARE FUNDS AVAILABLE

The WTA provides dependent care expenses for school representatives, Executive members, Council Representatives and committee members to attend meetings up to a maximum of current MTS rates. Members can claim actual expenses up to $10.70 per hour. Claim actual expenses up to a maximum of $200.00 per day for dependents requiring specialized care. Specialized care is for care required on evenings and weekends, outside of normal working hours. A dependent is a person who cannot socially, emotionally, or medically look after oneself and may be in physical, social, or emotional danger if left alone. To make a claim for dependent care, contact the WTA office at 204-831-7104 or mkrauss@wta.mb.ca. Submit receipts for specialized care only.