GSS Fee Referendum

Fee Referenda

2020 Health and Dental Plan Fee results are now final.

We have updated the Health and Dental plan pages to reflect the new costs.

 

Preliminary results of the 2020 Health and Dental Plan Fee referendum have been released.

Approved for posting by the electoral officer.

Posted at 6:54 PM on June 5, 2020.

See the Prelminiary Results – GSS June 2020 Referendum [PDF]  from the University Secretary’s office (The University Secretary runs webvote)

Voter turn out: 134 ballots cast. 5.6% of eligible voters.

Question 1:

Are you in favour of automatically assessing graduate students who are enrolled full‐time off campus (online) for GSS Extended Health and Dental Plans at the same rate as students registered full time on campus or on co‐op ($407/year Extended Health Plan fee and $236/year Dental Plan fee)?

Option: YES  Votes: 103  Percent: 77.4 % PASSED

Option: NO  Votes: 30 Percent 22.6% 

Option: Blank / Spoil: 1

Question 2:

Are you in favour of increasing the Extended Health Plan fee $0.17/month (from $407/year to $409/year) to include vaccine coverage for travel and influenza vaccines?

Option: YES Votes 113   Percent 86.3%  PASSED

Option: NO  Votes: 18  Percent 13.7%   

Option: Spoil/Blank: 3

Question 3.

Are you in favour of increasing the Dental Plan fee by $1.00 per month (from $236/year to $245/year) to maintain current dental coverage rates?

Option: YES Votes 118   Percent 88.1%  PASSED

Option: NO  Votes: 16 Percent 11.9%   

Option: Spoil/Blank: 0

Notice of 2020 Health and Dental Fee referendum

From 9 am Wednesday, June 3  to 4 pm Friday, June 5,2020 the election polls will be open for the Graduate Students’ Society referendum on health and dental plan fees.

The following referenda questions* will be asked:

Question 1

Are you in favour of automatically assessing graduate students who are enrolled full-time off campus (online) for GSS Extended Health and Dental Plans at the same rate as students registered full time on campus or on co-op ($407/year Extended Health Plan fee and $236/year Dental Plan fee)?

YES/NO

Question 2

Are you in favour of increasing the Extended Health Plan fee $0.17/month (from $407/year to $409/year) to include vaccine coverage for travel and influenza vaccines?
YES/NO

Question 3

Are you in favour of increasing the Dental Plan fee by $1.00 per month (from $236/year to $245/year) to maintain current dental coverage rates?

YES/NO

All currently registered UVIC graduate students may campaign on the referenda questions and vote. Voting takes place on https://webvote.uvic.ca

To register a campaign side, graduate students must email the electoral officer by 4 pm May 26, 2020. The campaign period is from May 27 to June 5, 2020.

 

Campaigns

A YES campaign has been formed on Question 1. You can view their campaign information here.

Campaign rules: Health and Dental Referendum Campaign procedures and guidelines

 

Contact the electoral officer, Brooklynn Trimble, at votegss@uvic.ca

*NB: The fees in the question are for September-start students. Fees for January-start students are pro-rated.

2020 GSS FEE REFERENDUM FAQ

All new student fees and fee increases must be approved by referendum of the GSS members.

Quorum for a referendum is 5% of the GSS membership (i.e. currently registered UVIC graduate students). Each question is considered a separate referendum.

Once a fee is approved by referendum, a notice is sent to the University of Victoria Board of Governors, who must approve all fees before they can be assessed with your tuition.

Fee referenda are guided by the GSS Bylaws, which can be found here: https://gss.uvic.ca/forms-pdfs/constitution-bylaws/

Fees changes approved in this referendum will be implemented September 1, 2020.

Fee referenda on GSS operational fees or campus services are relatively rare. Referenda on the GSS Extended Health and Dental Plan are more common. It is likely there will be a fee referendum on the Extended Health and Dental Plan in May 2020.

Because of COVID-19, graduate students will most likely be assessed as off campus” students in September 2020. Since only on-campus students are assessed the plan with tuition, the outcome of this shift is that only students registered in co-op would be assessed the plan with tuition and all others would have to opt in through the GSS office.

Yes. Any student who is assessed for the plan with tuition, and who has their own equivalent coverage, can opt out of the GSS plan during the opt out period. For more on opt-outs, see here: https://gss.uvic.ca/health-dental/opt-out/

In insurance, pooling—or insuring as a group—mitigates risk. For this reason, plans with automatic enrolment and larger pools of members have lower prices. To manage the risk and the increased administrative cost of an opt-in plan, the GSS would have to raise the opt-in price. The current opt-in rate is $10 more than the with-tuition rate; this is unsustainable if the majority of plan members must opt-in.

In recognition of the fact that some students will register part time in September due to COVID-19, the GSS has negotiated with the insurer to allow part time students to opt in to the plans for the 2020-2021 year. Part time students (less than 3.0 units or course work) are not assessed with their tuition and those who want coverage will have to opt in to the plans in September.

Our Health Plan Coordinator has prepared an explanation of how to use our insured services under the current conditions: https://gss.uvic.ca/using-the-gss-extended-health-and-dental-plans-during-covid-19/.

If the NO option wins on the Dental Plan fee increase referendum, the coverage will be modified to reduce coinsurance from 70% to 60% of eligible dental expenses.

The GSS plan already covers vaccines for Hepatitis A and B at a coinsurance rate of 70%. This will not change, regardless of the referendum outcome.

If the outcome of the Extended Health Plan fee referendum is that the “yes” option wins, the Extended Health Plan coverage will include coverage of the following vaccines at a coinsurance rate of 70%:

Influenza Vaccine (“Flu shot”)

Travel Vaccines, such as:

  • Cholera
  • Encephalitis
  • Hepatitis A and B (and combinations, i.e. Twinrix)
  • Meningococcus
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow Fever

March 2020: WUSC fee increase referendum passes, GSS Operating Fund fee increase referendum passes, VIPIRG re-assignment of fee referendum fails

2019 May: Health and Dental Plan fee change referendum passes

2019 March: Anti-Violence Project fee increase referendum passes, Ombudsperson fee increase referendum passes, constituency groups fee increase referendum passes, clubs fee increase referendum fails, campus food bank referendum passes, student advocate fee increase referendum passes

2018 April: Health and Dental Plan fee referendum fails due to lack of quorum (low participation)

2017 June:  health and dental plan fee increase referendum passes

2015 November:  fee creation referendum passes to add Conference Travel, Distance student travel, food bank, CFUV, University 101. Prior to this referendum, contributions to these services were funded out of the operating fund budget, so the result was the creation of additional fees as well as increased funds available within the operating budget.  There was a simultaneous referendum to approve allocation of funds and borrowing for the restaurant renovation completed in 2017 , which passed

2011 May: Health and Dental Plan fee increase referendum passes

2010 March: Health and Dental Plan fee increase passes

2009 May: Dental Plan fee increase referendum passes

Electoral Officer Decisions

None to date.