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Federal public service union members of the National Joint Council (NJC), including UCCO-SACC-CSN, have reached a tentative agreement with Treasury Board on changes to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP). The agreement includes coverage improvements, but higher premiums, particularly for retired public servants.

New benefits coming into effect October 1 include lifetime coverage up to $1000 for laser eye surgery, an annual maximum of $300 for sleep apnea machine repairs and an increase up $2000 per year to the psychological services.

As well, deductibles for all active and retired PSHCP members will be eliminated as of January 1, 2015.

However, Treasury Board insisted under threat of legislation to move to a 50-50 share of PSHCP premiums for current and future pensioners, to be phased in over four years beginning April 1, 2015. Low-income retirees who are eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement will continue to pay a 25% share.

Finally, the NJC obtained a written commitment that the employer will not bring coverage reductions to the table during ongoing PSHCP negotiations before March 2019.

Members can expect Treasury Board President Tony Clement to trumpet the agreement as a successful effort to protect taxpayers, but once again his efforts come at the expense of those who actually serve and protect Canadians.

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