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The CUPE group benefit plan renewals occur January 1st of each year. This year we only saw premium increases under the extended health and dental care plans. There were no premium increases for the provincial health care plans in B.C. and Alberta and our group life insurance and long-term disability plans remained unchanged.

The premiums for the Extended Health and Dental Care Plan, administered by Green Shield, had an overall increase of 9.2%, which represents an annual increase in premiums of approximately $390,000. SSQ Financial, the insurer for the Extended Health Care Plan, for Quebec employees only, increased its premiums by 14.5%, which represents an annual increase in cost to CUPE of approximately $62,000.