Unit 1 and Unit 3 members of CUPE 3903 are also full-time graduate students, which means they are also members of the York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA). As a result, they have the option of being covered by either CUPE’s health insurance plan or the health insurance plan provided by YUGSA. Because CUPE’s plan is fully paid for by the employer, most members choose the CUPE plan. YUGSA has its own plan because not all YUGSA members are members of CUPE 3903, and therefore need their own coverage.
In years past, when Unit 1 and Unit 3 members of CUPE 3903 enrolled in CUPE’s health plan, they were automatically opted out of the YUGSA plan. In other words, they just had to enroll in one and wouldn’t have to worry about accidentally contributing to two different plans. They would simply be opted out of the YUGSA plan, just by enrolling in CUPE’s.
While this system generally worked well, there were many occasions that YUGSA members – who were not members of CUPE 3903, and who had no access to CUPE’s health plan – would accidentally be opted out of the YUGSA health plan, leaving them with no coverage whatsoever. In many cases, these members would only discover they had no coverage during a medical emergency.
These members were accidentally opted out because the Faculty of Graduate Studies had provided YUGSA with an inaccurate list of YUGSA members covered by CUPE’s health plan. The recent change to the system that asked Unit 1 and Unit 3 members to opt out themselves, rather than having it done for them automatically, was an attempt to prevent YUGSA members from being excluded from both plans.
This change, however, proved too cumbersome to implement.
In response to concerns raised by members of both CUPE 3903 and YUGSA, staff and members from the Executive Committees of both organizations have developed a plan to restore the automatic opt-out for Unit 1 and Unit 3 members of CUPE 3903.
Moving forward, Unit 1 and Unit 3 members of CUPE 3903 who enroll in CUPE’s health insurance plan will be automatically opted out of the YUGSA plan, as they have been in years past.
For more information, please email CUPE3903chairperson@gmail.com.