U.S. Steel Lake Erie Works
Transition Fund Update for Retirees
What’s new with the Transition Fund?
Availability of the Transition Fund after March 31, 2016
The Transition Fund has not yet run out, and funding for coverage is still available for prescription drug benefits, and dental and other health benefits. The fund will continue until it reaches the $3 million cap. Up to $2.5 million is available for prescription drug benefits coverage (Tranche 1) and up to $500,000 is available for emergency coverage for urgently required dental and other health benefits (Tranche 2). Once the Transition Fund is exhausted under either Tranche 1 or 2, no claims will be processed under that tranche.
Changes to prescription drug eligibility
As of March 14, 2016, the parameters of the fund were expanded and began providing coverage for repeat refills of 30-day prescription drugs.
Once you have claimed 30 days’ worth of prescriptions you will have to wait a period of time before processing your next refill. The next claim will be allowed when the beneficiary is 80 per cent of the way through their current prescription (e.g., day 24 of a 30-day claim). The 30-day repeat refills will continue until the fund runs out.
Claims for more than a 30-day supply will be rejected (e.g., if you claim for 90 days of prescriptions, the claim will be rejected. The pharmacy will have to resubmit for a 30-day supply and you will have to return once the wait period is done.)
Retroactive payments for 30-day repeat refills purchased before March 14, 2016 will not be issued.
The other provisions of the Transition Fund (e.g. the dental and other benefits) remain the same.
On September 16, 2014, US Steel Canada (USSC) filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA)
As the result of the Court’s decision on October 9, 2015 regarding USSC’s cash conservation and business preservation plan, prescription drug and other health benefits (“OPEBS”) were suspended for eligible USSC retirees and their eligible spouses and dependents (“OPEB Beneficiaries”). Life insurance coverage was not suspended.
Following the Court decision, the Ontario government committed to establishing a $3 million Transition Fund to help support retirees and beneficiaries impacted by the suspension of their OPEBs. The Transition Fund is not a continuation of the USSC OPEBs but is meant to address urgent and critical health needs of affected retirees as they transition to other supports and programs available such as the Trillium Drug Program.
In December 2015, a Transition Fund letter was distributed to OPEB Beneficiaries, outlining how the Transition Fund would be used, and how to apply for coverage from the fund. The fund has been operational since January 1, 2016.
Further Information on the Transition Fund
The December 2015 Transition Fund letter, as well as details about the fund’s parameters and process for submitting claims are available through the websites of the representatives of the union and salaried retirees, and the Monitor, as follows:
· Ernst & Young - www.ey.com/ca/ussc
· USW Local 1005 – www.uswa1005.ca
· USW Local 8782 - www.uswa8782.com
· Koskie Minsky LLP – www.kmlaw.ca/cases/usscrepcounsel/
· Stel Salaried Pensioners Organization - www.stel-salaried-pensioners.org
If you do not have access to the internet, please refer to the following contacts provided for your convenience:
Non-USW Members: Koskie Minsky LLP at their toll-free phone number at 1-866-777-6341.
Tony McLaughlin Ron Wells
(905)547-1417 ext. 4 (905)547-1417 ext. 3
Terry Barnard Mark Talbot
519-587-2000 ext. 225 519-587-2000 ext. 301
Greenshield Canada call centre at their toll-free phone number at 1-888-711-1119.
Is Ontario Steel Too Big to Fail?
March 15, 2016
Ways and Means Golf Tournament Saturday August 6, 2016. For more information Click Here
March 14, 2016
Transition Fund Update
As of March 14, 2016, the Transition Fund will cover repeats of 30-days supplies of prescription drugs until March 31, 2017, or until the fund runs out.
This means that once you have claimed 30 days' worth of prescriptions you will have to wait a period of time before processing the next prescription. The next claim will be allowed when a plan member is 80 per cent of the way through their current claim (e.g., day 24 of a 30-day claim) and this will continue until March 31, 2017 or until the funds runs out.
Claims for more than a 30-day supply will be rejected. (E.g., if you claim for 90 days of prescriptions, the claim will be rejected. The pharmacy will have to resubmit for a 30-day supply and you will have to return once the wait period is done.)
The other provisions of the Transition Fund remain the same.
Retirees T4 Income Tax Statements
We have been getting calls from retirees regarding the income tax statements. Retirees will receive three statements reflecting the items listed below:
1. Pension income
2. Income for the profit sharing that was paid out to retirees last year
3. Taxable benefit for Life Insurance
If you are a surviving spouse you will only receive the first two.
Transition Fund Update
As we are sure, everyone is aware by now that the Judge presiding over the CCAA restructuring granted the Company a request for a business preservation plan as the Canadian Operations transitions into a stand alone business. The order allowed the Company to suspend retiree benefits, suspend payments of past service for the pensions and to not have to pay their Municipal taxes. The Union put forth that there were other cash conservation measures that could have been taken within the operations before taking these drastic steps.
There is still a substantial amount of dollars remaining in the Transition fund, so we continue to ask that 30-day supplies of prescriptions be given each month for those that require them until the fund expires on March 31 or the fund money runs out.
Emergency hardship (Tranche 2) is still available on an individual basis. We have proposed reviewing the criteria for accessing the emergency fund. We can assist you at the Union Hall in the process or you can send it in directly to the monitor. Forms are available to print off on our website.
We understand your frustration in this difficult time and understand that you earned your benefits by deferring your wages. Our position is to have our Benefits reinstated at some time in the future. We anticipate that we will have more information next week.
February 2, 2016
Benefit Transition Fund
The prescription drug portion of the transition fund that was funded by the government and administered by Greenshield and the monitor, was for there to be a one time 30 day maximum supply for a prescription. We have asked that this policy be reviewed with a view to provide for 30 days at a time for each prescription until the fund either runs out or until the end of March when the transition fund is scheduled to end.
We hope to know in the coming weeks whether it will get approval. If you require filling a prescription again prior to the decision maybe the pharmacy will give a few days worth until the decision is made. We have also requested that if people have already filled this months prescription, that there be a avenue for reimbursement.
December 23, 2015
Transition Fund Update
The Court approved the Retiree Benefit Transition Fund motion and signed the order today, so the fund will come into effect January 1. For more information see the documents listed below. The retirees will receive a mail out to inform them as well.
December 18, 2015
Government $3 Million Transition Fund for Retirees
Here are the Letters, Guidelines and Required Documents for the Transition Fund that has been announced for retirees. Please keep in mind that these are subject to the courts approval on December 23, 2015
September 3, 2015
For people wanting to view copies of Court Documents including the Monitors report which relate to the CCAA proceeding you can access them on the Court appointed Monitors website http://www.ey.com/ca/ussc.
Grievance Form Package
Here is a package to assist the steward body on the grievance procedure and process. To view the guideline click on the link below
Family Services Employee Assistance Program
The intent of the program is to assist troubled employees in arranging for appropriate private outside resources. If you have questions on the extent of assistance or require help please don't hesitate to call 1-800-668-9920 or for more information go to the website at http://www.myfseap.com/english/myeap/home.asp and login, user name is ussc and password is steel.
September 18, 2013
Group Home and Car etc. Insurance for
Your Guide to the Employment Standards Act. To view Click Here
This will explain your rights under the act as it relates to Hours of Work, Pregnancy and Parental Leave, Family Medical Leave or Personal Emergency Leave etc.
Go to the Meetings and Public Events page for upcoming meetings Updated May 2, 2016
We are trying to establish a database of e-mails for news bulletins etc. for our members and retirees. If you have an e-mail address and would like to be added to this list please click on one of the links below.
Members: Please be sure to include your full name or it will not be used. We need
to know we are only sending to our members. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retirees mail to: Send to email@example.com
Local 8782 was first chartered in 1978. We negotiate collective agreements for our members at U.S. Steel (former Stelco) Lake Erie Works, Pickling Division, Harsco Services, and ESM. Since our members are directly employed in the Steel Industry, it is our responsibility to be involved in the fight to save the steel industry in Canada. For this reason we are launching this web site to communicate the latest developments that affect you.
We hope to use this site as another avenue to communicate to our membership on past, present and future initiatives. If you have any suggestions of what you would like to see, please use our feedback page and we will review all suggestions.
Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments about this web site.