CBC Pensioners Association, Maritime Region Newsletter

Association Fights for Improved Benefits!


Floyd Eisan

The fall meeting of the National Executive dealt with several issues during a two-day session. The supplementary health care situation remains in turmoil. Richard LeBlanc of Human Resources and representatives of Wm. Mercer gave us a report on Great West Life (GWL) and Atlantic Blue Cross (ABC). GWL appeared to be in reasonable shape at September 30, six months after changes were made to the plan. ABC was a different situation.
We made changes in the plan as of the first of 1997, but we were showing a deficit of 3.7% for the year ending in July. Our drug costs have declined, but hospital, vision care, and other expenses are up.
We were told that since the Corporation had dropped ABC for staff members, that ABC wanted to increase our administration fees by another 3% because of the risk involved if the plan runs a deficit. They have also requested a 10% increase in premiums for members in this Region. We were told that over-the-counter drugs are continuing to be charged to the plan.
I demanded an accounting of this and said we would be looking for a credit from ABC. I said we would not accept the increase they're looking for and asked for a review of the figures and that the CBC continue to negotiate for a better deal for us.The executive supported our position.

Group Life Insurance

We're making some progress in efforts to replace the $4,000 paid up policy after age 65. Mercer's did not have any figures with them, but were directed to bring back information on the cost of a $10,000 life policy instead of the $4,000 paid up one.They were also asked to supply figures for a policy that would represent coverage of 25 to 30% of salary at the time of retirement.

1-800 Number for problems.

It's hoped that such a system will be in operation by January 1, 1998. It will be the typical menu type voice mail system with press 1 for this and 2 for that. It will switch your call to the appropriate source. If you wanted information on the health plan, it would connect you to Blue Cross in Moncton, or if you wanted information about your pension, it would switch you to the Pension Board in Ottawa.

Future of the Association.

You will recall that last year I headed a committee looking at changing the direction of the National Association. Our report was tabled as the executive was not prepared to make any changes at that time. This year, with the assistance we've been getting from the CBC in danger, there has been an about face.
A number of factors are involved. 1. The privatization of stores and duplicating could mean the loss of help in sending out our newsletter and other pertinent information.
2. There is the possibility that the CBC may have to cut back what funding we are receiving at present.
3. We may have to become more actively involved in certain areas on our own behalf. Supplementary health care is one example. Another is the lack of consultation with the Association when a surplus is declared in the Pension Fund.
On the other hand the unions are becoming more interested in the work of the Association and have indicated that they would like to assist us in any way they can. We will be following up on that and once we know what they have in mind we will start implementing the report. We could be looking for a nominal membership fee to help finance our work.

Power Pendulum Swings East

Floyd Eisan is the new national president of the Association. He was elected at the Ottawa meeting in late October and assumed his duties immediately. His election is for a two year term.
Other officers include Ron Volden of Saskatchewan, vice-president, and Pierre Racicot of Ottawa, past president. The secretary is Dianne St. Germain of Ottawa, but Floyd is seeking a bilingual secretary from the Halifax area if possible. This is a voluntary position the same as the other members of the executive.

Watch Those Dispensing Fees


Ivan Munn

Since the first of the year we have something new to consider when shopping for drugs. We are now required to pay the dispensing fee out of our own pockets. In the spring, 1995 edition of Station Break, our very first issue, we ran a lengthy article advising retirees to shop carefully for drugs. We quoted from a Head Office memo with suggestions to help control drug prices. "Become an informed consumer,"" it urged,"and shop for prescription drugs as you would for any other consumer product."
If you took that to mean you should shop around to find the lowest price for the drug you needed, you were not alone. It seemed like a reasonable assumption. But what should one do now that we have to pay the dispensing fee ourselves?
A check of drugstores in my neighbourhood in central Dartmouth turned up the fact that the store with the highest dispensing fee often had the lowest overall price. It seemed as though we were faced with a conflict of interest.
I called the Blue Cross help desk in Moncton for clarification. "Shop for the lowest dispensing fee," was their advice. It doesn't matter what price the drug store quotes. Blue Cross has a set fee that it pays for any drug you buy, regardless of what the store charges.
. "We are in touch with manufacturers and wholesalers all the time and know what price a certain drug can be bought for," the representative said. "We allow a markup of about 10% over that plus the dispensing fee. The lowest dispensing fee is the best deal for the plan member and the plan."
In my area, Wal-Mart charges $2.98, the Super Store $2.99 and the corner drug store $8.95 as dispensing fees.
Two points from that Head Office memo bear repeating.
* Ask questions and consult with your doctor about proposed treatments. Ask about generic substitutions which cost less than the name brand drug.
* If you're expecting to use a medication for an extended period, ask for a 60 or 90 day supply instead of the usual 30. That means you will pay one dispensing fee rather than three.

An Artistic Challenge - Logo Wanted

By the time you receive this letter your regional association should have its own homepage on the World Wide Web as it continues to develop and grow on many fronts. The national association already has its site up and operating, complete with its own logo. You've seen it on much of the correspondence from the national level. The old CBC logo in one corner, the new CBC logo in the other with the text, CBC Pensioners' Association, bridging the gap between the two, and all on a bright blue background.
We want something different from the national group that identifies us as retired CBC broadcasters living in the Maritimes ... something we can use on our stationery, and our website.
Our secretary treasurer, Tom Pottie, was the first to see the need for our own logo and came up with a couple of suggestions. But with so many retirees in this region there are sure to be a lot of other ideas out there. If you don't want to tackle the artistic work yourself, that's fine. A description and a rough sketch will be enough.
Give us your idea and if its strikes us as one of the best, we'll find the artistic talent to translate it into a completed design. Unfortunately there are no prizes available as our budget is even leaner than the CBC's. The winner and runners up will be acknowledged in the Spring newsletter and after that the winner will have the satisfaction of seeing the results in use regularly. The deadline for entries is January 15, 1998. Send Suggestions to:

Ivan Munn, 6 Bow St., Dartmouth, N.S., B2Y 4H8.


Birchard, Del - 69 Died at home in Lower Sackville, N.S., on July 31, 1997. Del was born in Kingston, Ont., and was a graduate of St. Mary's University. He had been a senior maintenance technician at CBHT in Halifax, and was active in the Ham Radio Society.

MacDonald, Marguerite Joyce - 71 Died October 27, 1977, in hospital in Halifax . She was born in Sydney Mines and had been employed in the Accounting department in Ottawa. She retired due to ill health and moved to the Halifax area 15 years ago, living first in Bedford and later in Lower Sackville.

MacDonald, Norman A - 88 Died in Camp Hill Hospital in Halifax Sept. 6, 1977. Norman was a native of Mount Vernon, PEI, and served with the West Nova Scotia Regiment in the Second World War. He had worked as a transmitter technician in Halifax prior to his retirement.

Porter, Alice - 57 Died at home in Halifax October 1, 1997. She grew up in Amherst. and attended Mount Saint Vincent University. Alice started work at the Peace Research Institute in Toronto. She joined the TV production department in Halifax in 1966 and worked on a number of programs including Heritage, 1st Edition, the Maritimes Tonight, and Switchback.

Taylor, Gordon A. - 68 Died suddenly in Halifax on October 19, 1997. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, he served for 17 years in the Royal Navy. Then he worked for 20 years in the Design department in Vancouver. Gordon was a driving force in setting up the Employee Assistance Program in the CBC, for which he won the Presidents Award. He and his wife, Helen, moved to Halifax about two years ago.

1997 Golf Tournament


Ed Curtis, Tournament chairman.

Fine weather and a good turnout highlighted this year's golf tournament at the Truro Golf Club on Sept.17. Twenty-eight golfers took part and enjoyed the round and the dinner afterwards.

. Our thanks go to the Truro Golf Club staff, our prize donors and those who arranged for the donations. Sandy Falconer looked after donations from the CBC and Fred Martin got donations from Kidston Glass, Sports Experts, and Cleves. The CBC covered the cost of chartering the bus.

Here are the results as calculated by our statistician, Bob Marks, using the Calloway system.


Overall Winner Theresa Bannister
Low Gross Alice Sprague
Low Net Judi Milne
Nearest the Hole Judi Milne
Longest Drive Brenda Roach
Nearest the Center Line Theresa Bannister


Overall Winner Ray Fralick

First Division

Low Gross Fred Martin
Low Net Mike Hartlen

Second Division
Low Gross Sandy Falconer
Low Net Bob Marks

Third Division

Low Gross Bill Harper
Low Net Lyman Densmore

Other Winners
Nearest Hole Orest Chaban
Nearest Centre Line Doug Aucoin
Longest Drive Ray Fralick

My sincere thanks to the golf committee consisting of Tom Pottie, Bob Marks, Lorna Copp, Fred Martin, Peter MacNeil and Sandy Falconer for their efforts in making this tournament a success.



Gordon Taylor

Recent studies show that elder abuse is on the rise in Canada. Many of our fellow citizens are being abused in ways that are sometimes aggressive, but more often subtle.
No doubt everyone who reads this newsletter will state firmly that they would never endure abuse of any sort. We are all confident that no one will put anything over on us. We are not naive, and we don't fall for telephone scams. In short, we can look after ourselves.
This is almost certainly true of the majority ... right now. But what about as we get older? Who is at risk? Most victims are in their 70s, and many are female. Unfortunately, the abusers are often close relatives. It's a sad commentary on today's society that we must learn to question many traditional beliefs that, as children, we learned to trust.
Without wishing to create an atmosphere of alarm, be aware that sometimes it pays to be suspicious. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true ... it probably is!
Most locations have their own Employee Assistance number. If you don't know yours, call the national office at 1-800-255-5539.
(Gordon was a founding member of the Employee Assistance Program. He and his wife recently moved to Halifax from Vancouver. He had planned a series of article on the EAP, but his death in October cut that short. This is the second of two articles he had submitted. The first ran in the Spring newsletter.)

Recent Retirements.

The following people have joined our ranks since May.

Ron Gillis Sydney
Ray Hannebury Halifax
Ron Hill Halifax
Ron MacPherson Halifax
Eugene Stanley Halifax


The annual Christmas food bank drive will be held Friday, Dec. 12, at the Sackville Street building. The Pensioners will be on duty to receive contributions again this year. Volunteers are needed for time slots from 6 am to 6 pm that day. Contact Floyd or Tom if you can lend a hand.


The CBC Halifax Christmas Party will be held onTuesday, December 16, in the Radio Room on Sackville Street, starting at 4 pm. Retirees are invited. Plan to drop in and toast the season with old friends and make some new acquaintances.