APUO negotiates benefits for its members. The complete details can be found in Article 40 of the Collective Agreement. If you have any questions about these benefits, please contact the APUO by email or phone at 613-230-3659. You can also contact the Information and Benefits personnel at the University of Ottawa Human Resources.
Basic group and optional life, supplementary health, voluntary accident, dental, workers’ accident and long-term disability benefits
The University of Ottawa has produced both a guide to the benefits options and a question and answers page for APUO members.
The default insurance plan includes: basic life, extended health (opt-out possible), dental (opt-out possible) and the health services spending account. The optional insurance plans include: optional life for you, your spouse and your children, optional hospital room coverage, dental, and accidental death and dismemberment.
The long-term disability program (Section 40.2), including the three coverage options, is explained here.
The pension plan is referred to in Section 40.4 and in appendix A of the collective agreement. The plan is compulsory for all employees aged 30 or older. Employees under the age of 30 may choose to wait until they are 30 to participate in the pension plan. The University of Ottawa has a section of its website dedicated to the pension plan. It provides information on contribution levels, future benefits, early retirement, and so on. The University also offered a “New Pension Plan Member” presentation (2015) that contains very useful information.
Professional Expenses Reimbursement (PER)
The professional expenses reimbursement (PER) program is detailed in Section 40.9 of the collective agreement. For the calendar year 2014 through 2016, the employer will reimburse each member $1,625 worth of allowable professional expenses incurred by the member in carrying out employment duties or acquiring supplies or equipment related to the performance of duties. As per article 40.9.5, PER funds must be spend within three (3) years of their deposit date.
Allowable expenses include the following:
- membership fees for professional societies,
- travel expenses and registration fees for conferences related to the member’s professional responsibilities,
- publication costs, and
- purchase of instructional and research material (e.g. books, equipment, supplies, software, journal subscriptions).
The process for requesting a reimbursement was modified during the 2011 negotiations. The process now involves filing a mandatory form, providing original receipts and claiming amounts of $500.00 minimum at a time.
Section 40.9.6 specifies that equipment purchased with funds from the PER remain the property of the University.
Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)
The health care spending account (HCSA) is detailed in Section 40.12 of the collective agreement and on the University of Ottawa website. For the 2015 calendar year, each member has access to $270.00 funded by the employer. This amount can be carried over for one year as per Income Tax Act rules. The HCSA can help with costs relating to vision care, physiotherapy, massage therapy, psychological services, and so on.
The tuition fees program is detailed in Section 40.6 of the collective agreement and on the University of Ottawa website. Any spouse, child or dependent registered in a program at the University of Ottawa is entitled to an exemption from tuition fees or a bursary benefit, but must pay incidental fees (such as association dues, health services, sports services). They must complete the appropriate application forms, which are available at the Human Resources Service and at the Financial Aid Service. The completed forms must be delivered to the Human Resources Service no later than one week before the fee payment deadline. Applications may be made for more than one term at a time, but exemption shall be granted for only one fee payment at a time. Starting in 2010, the tuition exemption and reimbursement programs are now taxable only to those who receive the benefit, and require the employer to issue a T4A to the student. This means that the tuition exemption will no longer be added to the employee’s T4, since they will appear on the student’s T4A.
Severance Pay and Transition to Retirement
The severance pay and transition to retirement program is detailed in Section 40.3 of the collective agreement and on the University of Ottawa website. A member who has attained the age of 60, or whose age plus actual credited service is equal to 90 or more, and retires prior to the normal retirement date set out in the University of Ottawa Pension Plan (65), provided she does not retire prior to the completion of her scheduled teaching duties in a given term, is entitled to severance pay, equal to $800.00 multiplied by the number of years of regular full-time service, multiplied by the number of years (or parts thereof) remaining between the actual date of retirement and the normal retirement date for the member, this last number not to exceed 5.
A member who is eligible to retire and to receive severance pay may opt for the transition to retirement benefit. The overall value of the transition to retirement benefit shall be equal to the value of the severance pay as calculated at the effective start of the transition period chosen by the member. The start of the transition period shall not be prior to the completion of her scheduled teaching duties in a given term. If you are interested in the transition to retirement program, please contact the APUO by email or phone at 613-230-3659.
Parking and Transportation
The parking and transportation benefit is detailed in Section 40.8 of the collective agreement. The article spells out the mandate of the University of Ottawa Parking Committee and limits any potential increase of monthly parking rates to the lesser of the Parking Committee recommendation or the economic increase to the applied to faculty scales for that period.
The relocation expenses benefit is detailed in Section 40.5 of the collective agreement. The employer agrees to reimburse any newly-appointed non-replacement member (faculty, counsellor, librarian, or language teacher) relocation costs for moving to the Ottawa-Gatineau region from outside this area. An explanation of admissible expenses can be found in Article 40.5.2.
The employer shall reimburse the member’s relocation expenses as follows: 100% of the first $1 000, and 75% of any further amount above the initial $1 000, up to a maximum total payment of $5 000 in Canadian dollars. The parties may agree to exceptions to this limit. Claims for relocation expenses shall be submitted to the dean, on forms provided by the employer, in accordance with University travel regulations. The member’s claim shall be accompanied by copies of two tenders for moving costs and by a bill, receipt or voucher, in respect of each expense for which a bill, receipt or voucher was reasonably attainable.
Second Mortgage Policy
The second mortgage benefit is detailed in Section 40.7 of the collective agreement. The purpose of this policy is to facilitate the purchase of a regular (non-replacement) member’s principal residence in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. It is intended to supplement, not replace, primary real estate financing available from financial institutions. The loan shall not exceed $30,000, nor shall it exceed 30% of the purchase price of the residence. For more information, please contact the APUO by email or phone at 613-230-3659.
Health Care Spending Account on Retirement
The health care spending account on retirement is detailed in Section 40.10 of the collective agreement and on the University of Ottawa website. For the 2012 calendar year, members shall have access to $1,250.00 funded by the employer. This amount can be carried over for one year as per Income Tax Act rules.