Member Healthcare Benefits

What to do, when to do it, and who should do what!

***ELC/ITP members email us for details as separate processes may apply

Benefits Information on SFU’s website

Collective Agreement Benefits

Sick Leave (pp. 51-52)

All TAs, TMs and Sessionals – one month of paid sick leave during each semester of appointment. Employer will continue to cover benefits until the end of the semester.

ELC/ITP continuing Instructors receive only 12 days of paid sick leave per calendar year; ELC/ITP Instructors who are “temporary” receive no paid sick leave, even if they work full time all year.

If you are ill you are not responsible for replacing yourself; inform the department and they will do it.

Steps to use sick leave

  1. Realize you are sick
  2. Email the Department (or Course Supervisor) to let them know
  3. Get better
  4. If your illness persists beyond three scheduled days of duties, the Department may request a Doctor’s note.

Tuition Deferment

Employees who are currently SFU students may pay their tuition via their paycheque. See here for more detailed information.

Medical, Dental and Extended Health Benefits (pp. 48-51)

TAs, TMs, Graduate Facilitators, and Sessional Instructors must apply for all benefits; you are NOT automatically enrolled. The relevant forms can be found here.

MSP/International Student Health Fee: please see HERE.

BenefitTAs, TMs, GFs, & Sessional InstructorsELC/ITP Instructors
BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)100% of premiums paid by the employer for the duration of employment; coverage begins on the first of the month in which the application is submitted.

To opt into SFU’s group plan see instructions here.
After reading the instructions you can upload the Group Plan form and fill it out.
60% of premiums paid by the employer for continuing instructors only, coverage starts the first month following the date of employment. MSP Application Form with Instructions or Fillable PDF without instructions.
Extended Health (Pacific Blue Cross)
75% of premiums paid by the Employer during period of employment. Covers 80% of prescription drugs and minimal paramedical practitioners. Coverage may be maintained for up to two semesters following employment, as long as the form is submitted and the premiums are remitted before employment ends. Enroll via the form found on the SFU Human Resources website. As of May 1, 2020 the plan premiums are $26.59 / month for individuals and $74.51 / month for family coverage.

100% of premiums paid by the Employer during period of employment but only for continuing employees who meet an hours and weeks worked eligibility threshold. Covers 80% of prescription drugs, paramedical practitioners, counselling etc. Coverage may be maintained during a period of leave, if paid by the employee. Enroll via the form found on the SFU HR website.
At the end of the semester in which the employee has an appointment and has also paid the extended plan through Pacific Blue Cross., upon proof of payment, SFU will reimburse: $11.35 (single), $22.70 (couple), or $34.50 (family) per month when enrolled in the plan. The Dental Reimbursement Application is available here and must be submitted by week 12 of the semester.
100% coverage by SFU for continuing instructors only. No benefits for employees classified as temporary.
Coverage during MSP Waiting Period
Members who enroll in MSP benefits and notify SFU of their enrollment in at will receive a reimbursement for the equivalent cost of MSP coverage for the months prior to their MSP eligibility. At Jan 1, 2018 rates, a family with three months of employment at SFU before attaining eligibility for MSP will receive a reimbursement of $225 (3 months * $75 /month)



Other leaves (pp. 51-56)

Family Leave: up to five unpaid leave days for each employment year, to care for a child. Up to five unpaid days per each employment year.

BenefitTAs, TMs, & Sessional InstructorsELC/ITP Instructors
Family LeaveUp to five (5) days of unpaid leave per each employment year to meet responsibilities related to the care or health of any member of the employee’s immediate family.
Personal / Short TermCan arrange to exchange duties with another employee for up to one week (p. 56)Leave for academic purposes if it benefits the employer, and if they approve.
Compassionate LeaveUp to five (5) business days of paid leave.Up to five (5) working days of paid leave, at the discretion of the Director; pay is prorated for continuing part-time employees.
Court Appearances / Jury DutyAll employees are granted paid leave for jury duty or when required by subpoena to appear in court. You must pay to the University any money received from the Crown for those times when you had scheduled teaching assignments.
Maternity/ParentalFollows the Employment Standards Act, with no additional top-up from the Employer. Specific notice periods apply (see below); with new seniority rights, it is very important to apply for leave.
Travel AllowanceIf you are assigned outside of the Lower Mainland, you are reimbursed for authorized travel expenses and the University will maintain travel accident insurance. There is also an allowance for travel required between the Burnaby and Downtown campuses for a single appointment (no such provision exists for travel to the Surrey campus).

** NOTE: There are a variety of notice requirements and commencement of leave regulations, read more on pages 52-55 in the Collective Agreement.

ALL Employees: Maternity Leave or Parental Leave (pp. 53-55)

a. Birth Mother
A pregnant employee shall be entitled to up to eighteen (18) consecutive weeks of maternity leave and up to thirty-five (35) consecutive weeks of parental leave, without pay. If the birth mother has not taken maternity leave, she is eligible for up to thirty-seven (37) consecutive weeks of parental leave. The parental leave must immediately follow the maternity leave unless she and the employer agree otherwise.
In the event the birth mother dies or is totally disabled, the remaining parent of the child shall be entitled to both maternity and parental leave without pay.

b. Birth Father and Adoptive Parent
An employee who is the birth father, the adoptive father, or the adoptive mother shall be entitled to up to thirty-seven (37) consecutive weeks of parental leave without pay. The employee shall commence the leave within fifty-two (52) weeks of the child’s birth or the date the child comes within the care and custody of the employee.

c. Extensions – Special Circumstances
An employee shall be entitled to extend the maternity leave by up to an additional six (6) consecutive weeks leave where a physician certifies the employee is unable to return to work for medical reasons related to the birth, provided however, that in no case shall the combined maternity and parental leave exceed fifty-five (55) consecutive weeks following the commencement of such leave.

An employee shall be entitled to extend the parental leave by up to an additional five (5) weeks leave without pay where the child is at least six (6) months of age before coming into the employee’s care and custody and if it is certified by a medical practitioner or the agency that placed the child that an additional period of parental care is required because the child suffers from a physical, psychological or emotional condition.

** NOTE: There are a variety of notice requirements and commencement of leave regulations, read more on pages 52-55 in our Collective Agreement.

(ELC/ITP ONLY): Additional Maternity Leave or Parental Leave (p. 55)

Instructors on maternity/parental leave will be entitled to the continuation of paid Health and Welfare benefits by providing post-dated cheques to the university for the employee portion of the benefit cost, on the same cost sharing basis as before the instructor commenced their maternity/parental leave, during the period of maternity/parental leave. (p 55)

Beyond the Collective Agreement

If a student (or postdoc) is being paid out of a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) or Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant and is ineligible for employment insurance (EI), then they are eligible for either 4 months (NSERC) or 6 months (CIHR) of 100% paid paternity leave (if they are the primary caregiver). Unfortunately, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is not part of this.

The money for the leave is extra money from NSERC/CIHR, so it doesn’t take away from the grant.

For maternity leave: four (4) months of 100% paid leave might be preferable to some students, as after that time you could return to school/work part-time without having to worry about EI clawbacks.

For paternity leave: four (4) months of 100% paid leave is fairly close to the maximum 55% for 35 weeks (assuming a consistent wage).

More information can be found on the NSERC website.

All Employees: TSSU Member Child Care Fund and Childcare Subsidy for TSSU Meetings

See Childcare for more information.

All Employees: Canada Pension Plan, Workers’ Compensation, Employment Insurance

Provisions, payment of premiums, payroll deductions, and eligibility shall be as per Government of Canada and BC regulations. (p. 56 & p. 90)
More information:


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Link was already sent (September 30) to all TSSU members!