CBC PENSIONERS ASSOCIATION,
CBC Pensioners Association, Maritime Region Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 5: Fall, 2001
The national fall meeting of the Association was held in Ottawa, Oct. 13 - 16th. By now you should have received a communique from president Don Waterston highlighting some of the important issues which were dealt with.
In order to bring the regional executive up to speed and to seek their advice on several
issues, I called a meeting for Oct. 29th. One of the items discussed was the news from Blue Cross on next years monthly premium.
In addition to the increased cost for this insurance, I have been unhappy with the fact that the folks in Moncton are assessed separately from the rest of New Brunswick. As you know, each province has a different health care program. This means that we pay a different rate in each province, except New Brunswick where there are two rates. This is due to the fact that Moncton came under the jurisdiction of FSD and the rest of the province under ESD. Hopefully this inequity will be eliminated if and when we enter into a new agreement for health care coverage. At that time we will have one carrier across the country. (See item by Jack Ingram later in this letter.)
At our regional executive meeting we had a good look at the Phase 1 report by Buck Consulting
on our quest for a supplementary health insurance plan that would serve us better than our present coverage. Following this examination, a motion was unanimously adopted which directed me to send a letter to the national executive encouraging it to proceed without delay in authorizing a consulting firm to begin Phase 2 of this process. At this stage we would be designing a new plan and approaching a number of selected carriers to bid on the contract and receiving some recommendations based on their responses.
Another item of prime interest to us is the pension plan. We were informed by the manager, Steve Cottsman, that the fund now has a reduced surplus following several months of recession and the September 11th catastrophe. It should be understood the fund is managed very conservatively, still has a surplus, and this bear market will soon be followed by a brand new bull market. Relax folks, the actuaries have accounted for every eventuality except national meltdown. We will probably receive real numbers around the end of the year.
We are also aware that a growing number of members are interested in improvements to the pension plan survivor benefits, cola clause, and post retirement marital coverage etc. We have discussed these issues with the CBC in the past and we will continue to press for improvements.
Some other items on the regional agenda. Our Christmas party is well organized and if last year is any indication, this one will be a resounding success. Dec. 5th is the day, bring your spouse, and don't miss it.
On a communications note, Ivan Munn and John McKay will be building a new regional website on "Chebucto net". We will let you know when its up and running.
I hope this helps to keep you up to date, if you have any questions, we have an excellent
Board of Directors and I ask you to call on any of us for assistance at any time.
All retirees and their spouses are invited to the Christmas Party which is being held this year on Dec. 5th at the Canadian Legion on Cunard Street in Halifax, beginning at noon.
We've planned a sit-down dinner of roast turkey with all the trimmings and need to know the exact number of people who will be attending so that the Legion ladies can prepare sufficient food. To assist us in getting an accurate number would you please telephone or e-mail Tom Pottie or Audrey Sampson whose respective 'phone & e-mail numbers are listed below:
Tom Pottie Phone - 453-0269
Audrey Sampson Phone 435-5048
Please let us know by Nov. 25th if you'll be attending. There'll be prizes to be drawn for so do join us for some pre-Christmas fun. We look forward to seeing you on December 5th. There will be no business meeting on that day. Remember no matter where you live in the Maritimes, you're invited if you can make it to Halifax.
Copeland, Neil - 76 died Sept. 23 at his retirement home in Britain. Born in Toronto, Neil worked in advertising before joining the CBC in Halifax as an announcer. He is survived by his wife, Pat , and three children from a previous marriage.
Danielson, Harold E. "Danny" - 74 died July 8 in Ottawa. Born in Sask., Danny worked for the CBC for 35 years, including some time at CBC Halifax. He is survived by his wife Betty, a son and a daughter.
DeVenney, Alan H. - 67, Dartmouth, died Oct. 19. He was born in Windsor Forks. Al was a chartered accountant and worked at the CBC for 25 years. He was an avid gardener, and enjoyed painting. He is survived by his companion, Ruth Turner, two sisters, and 4 brothers.
Errington, Ralph - 68 died Oct. 14 in Bridgetown, N.S. Born in Toronto, Ralph had a long career as a reporter, and joined the CBC in Fredericton in 1983. Later he worked in Charlottetown and Sydney. He is survived by his wife, Vera, and daughter, Lori Ann.
Kearney, Augustus "Gus" - 86, Dartmouth, died Oct. 19. Born in St. John's, Nfld., Gus was employed at CBC Halifax from 1955 to 1980 in the film department. During much of that time, he was president of I.A.T.S.E. He is survived by his wife, Francis; a daughter, a son, seven grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren
LeBlanc, Léonide - died in Moncton in August. He was 79 years old and had worked in building maintenance at CBC Moncton until his retirement. Léonide is survived by his wife, Annie, of Moncton.
MacLEOD, Lilie - Dartmouth, died Oct. 27 at the QEII hospital in Halifax. A native of Trois Rivieres, Lilie was the widow of Don MacLeod, a CBC Halifax radio news editor. She is survived by three daughters and one son, all in the Halifax area.
MacPherson, Allister R. "Al" died of a heart attack on Sept. 17 in Dartmouth. Born in Glace Bay, he worked at CBC Halifax for 37 years, retiring in 1995. Al was an avid hunter and fly fisherman. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and three daughters.
Stewart, Ann Louise - 59, Nine Mile River, Hants Co., died April 23, in Owen Sound , Ont. Ann was the widow of Don Stewart, a senior technician at CBC TV, Halifax. She is survived by a son, James, in Oromocto., N.B.
National Committee Studying New Health Plan
A meeting of the National Committee on Insurance and Affinity Programs took place in Toronto in August. Buck Consultants of Toronto, having been given a framework of what we wanted in a supplementary health care plan, reported to the committee at that time.
They invited bids from more than 12 major carriers and four of these indicated an interest in competing for our business. Most of those declining did so because they were not willing or able to bid within the framework our consultants requested. Over and above these four, two other companies will be invited to submit quotes.
The present supplementary health program is very complicated for any organization that has retirees in every part of the country. Every province has its own particular pharmacare program covering retirees over 65 years of age, and retirees under that age have to be covered in a different manner. As a result CBC pensioners across the country face more than 20 rate structures with variations in coverage.
One thing the committee determined was that semi-private and private coverage should be eliminated. A major portion of present premiums is attributed to this. The fees hospitals receive from carriers for such accommodations are called discretionary funds and permit the hospital wide latitude in their use. As a result these costs have escalated dramatically.
Another factor is that in most hospitals the two-bed room is almost standard and wards have been reduced to four beds. In addition, private or semi-private costs would be covered by the proposed plan if your doctor felt you needed such a room.
Taking those factors into account, Buck was instructed to devise a three-tier program and go to the interested parties for quotes.
· TIER 1. Basic Supplementary Health. (E.g. Limited vision care)
· TIER 2. Enhanced Health Coverage. (E.g. Improved vision care)
· TIER 3. Top of the line coverage. (E.g. Dental coverage etc.)
The process would be the principle of an add on. It will probably be early in 2002 before we have the details worked out and we are in a position to present a plan to you.
Jack Ingram is the Maritime Region representative on the committee.
Keep In Touch
We need your help to keep our mailing list up to date and to locate newly-retired people. After our last mailing, about two dozen newsletters were returned to us by Canada Post because of incorrect addresses.
The CBC no longer provides us with members' addresses, claiming they are prevented from doing so under the Access to Personal Information Act. Using the same interpretation of the legislation, the CBC doesn't even advise us when people take retirement or pass away.
As a result, we need your help to obtain the names and addresses of former employees who have retired or are just retiring, so we can invite them to join the association. Of course, we also need to keep track of current members who move. If you are moving, or know someone who is taking retirement or who has passed away, please send us the information.
Tom Pottie keeps our address list.
2779 Pacific Street, Halifax, N.S. B3K 4W8.
Phone (902) 453-0269
PROTECT YOUR ASSETS
At the October meeting of the Association in Halifax , members got some advice on estate planning and investment from an expert.
Ron Burton, a former CBC Halifax employee, former lawyer and now an investment advisor, said everyone in our age bracket should have a basic estate plan. He said you should start with a will, and make sure it's kept up-to-date.
You should also have a power of attorney of the "husband and wife" type. Ron said then if one or the other is incapacitated for any reason, the other spouse could deal with matters that need attention.
The third item on the list is a medical consents form, often referred to as a living will. This document is for the hospital's records and outlines the type of medical treatment you want in the case of serious illness. The document speaks for you if you are unconscious and not able to give directions to the doctor yourself.
The fourth item is a designation of residence. Ron said that in Nova Scotia you are expected to pay for your own care in a nursing home until your assets are used up. A signed declaration stating that your home is your principal residence precludes the Province from taking the family home.
Turning to investments, Ron said this is not a good time to be in the stock market. His advice was to be very conservative in your investments during this period of market uncertainty. He said the safest place for your money right now is Money Market Funds, Treasury Bills or Short Term Bonds. If inflation comes back, there could be hefty losses in long bonds.
Ron is with Union Securities with offices at Purdy's Wharf, phone 422-2446.
The CBC Pensioners Association, Moncton's chapter, will meet on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 at the Moncton's Press Club.
The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. During this meeting, we will discuss the health insurance plan, which proposes different options to the pensioners.
Jack Brownell and Jack Ingram of Halifax will explain the steps that were undertaken with several insurance companies.
The members of Moncton's chapter are warmly invited.
We've changed our method of distribution this time around, and everyone is receiving a printed copy of this edition of the newsletter. In the past we did not mail a copy to the Retirees on our email list. We notified them that the letter was up on our Web Site and they could read it there. That saved the cost of mailing about 150 copies, but may not have done much for our readership. If it was not convenient to read the letter when notified by email, the matter could easily be forgotten. Our financial situation has now improved to the point that we can afford to mail the letter to all Retirees in the Maritimes. The letter will still be available on the Internet, too.
The second major change is that we're now bilingual. It was felt for some time that we should make the letter available in French as well as English, and with help from Moncton we are doing that now. Yvon Michaud, the secretary of the Moncton chapter, took on the task of translating the material, and has handled it promptly and efficiently. My thanks to Yvon for his help.
Ivan Munn, Editor.