Notice of Referendum – General Election 2022

January 24, 2022  |   Found in Elections // News

Background Information: In the October 2021 By-Election, the SU asked non-binding plebiscite questions to better understand the insurance needs and priorities of students. Through these plebiscite questions, students indicated to the SU that maintaining or increasing current service provision was important to them. A majority of respondents were willing to pay more for the Health and Dental Plans to ensure service provision did not decrease. The SU Health and Dental Plans are not currently financially sustainable.

The Students’ Union Health Plan was established by referendum in 1989, and the last fee increase to this plan was approved by referendum in 1993. The Students’ Union Dental Plan was established by referendum in 1991, and its premiums have never increased. As a result, the sustainability and viability of the Health and Dental plans is now at risk. If fees do not increase, coverage for health and dental services will decrease. The plans cover only full-time students, and students may opt-out of the plans if they have comparable coverage. Changes to these fees will have no effect on students who opt-out of the plans.


Question 1

In this election, an amendment to the SU Constitution is being proposed which would allow for small annual increases to the cost of the Health and Dental plans to occur without the need for future referendum questions. These potential future fee increases would only be initiated if needed to sustain the funding of the plans and would be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The maximum annual increase would be limited to 4%. This means that students might not experience an increase for several years, or that an increase may occur to only one of the plans. Students would be informed of changes to the price of their plan prior to the payment deadline.

Using the CPI to adjust the cost of the SU Health and Dental Plans from here on will ensure these plans remain sustainable over time. Additionally, the need for large fee increases through referendum questions in future years would be limited.


Question 2

The SU is proposing a fee increase of $10 to maintain the current coverage levels offered through the Dental Plan. If approved, this increase would bring the total annual cost of the Dental Plan to $100, paid annually on the date that eligible students are first charged fees and tuition (September for most programs). If the increase is not approved, the plan will remain at a cost of $90 and there will be a decrease in the current coverage of services through the Dental Plan to ensure financial sustainability. Changes to this fee will have no effect on students who opt out of the Dental Plan.


Question 3:

The SU is proposing a fee increase of $20 to increase the current coverage levels offered through the Health Plan. This proposal would increase coverage for vision services, provide students with access to additional mental health supports, and increase access to paramedical practitioners, such as chiropractors or massage therapists.

If approved, this increase would bring the total annual cost of the Health Plan to $123, paid annually on the date that eligible students are first charged fees and tuition (September for most programs). If the increase is not approved, the plan will remain at a cost of $103 and there will be a decrease in the current coverage of services through the Health Plan to ensure financial sustainability. Changes to this fee will have no effect on students who opt out of the Health Plan.