As you are aware, last year the 2016–17 board of directors made changes to the health and dental plan to adopt the B.C. formulary, the standard in most student unions in British Columbia. At the beginning of our board term we were given the responsibility of administering the changed plan.
The 2016–17 board was faced with a difficult reality. Claims rose significantly and this was projected to continue. If changes were not made, the plan would be $600 000 short on cash and unlikely to survive.
The 2016–17 board has been criticised for doing this decision in an open board meeting rather than a referendum. While I agree that a referendum would have been preferable, it was not a possibility. Due to the requirements laid out in our bylaws, we did not have the time to hold a referendum once we received our premiums for the year.
The 2017–18 board will continue to do everything in our power to support students during this transition period. For Lilia, we were able to cover Orkambi for the month of September and have been petitioning on her behalf.
Moving forward, the UVSS board hopes to engage students in building a sustainable health and dental plan, which is why we will be holding a town hall on Nov. 9 to discuss the changes.
Director of Finance and Operations
University of Victoria Students Society