Thursday, January 14, 2010

Benefit Plan Endowment Fund - GSS

Dear fellow Grad Students,

At next week's meeting, the  GSS council will discuss (and likely vote on) whether to establish a Benefit Plan Endowment Fund for financially needy grad students.
As your caucus representative I would like to have a discussion with my caucus to vote in the best interest of our department.
I would like to encourage every BISC grad student to meet with me tomorrow, Friday 15th at 3:30pm in the BISC Grad Lounge (where we usually hold our caucus meetings) to discuss the following issue:

For the unlikely event that the GSS general membership votes to eliminate the benefit plan in part or in whole the GSS retains a reserve fund for the graduate student health and dental benefit plan. After 4 years, the accumulated money now exceeds what the GSS would be required to pay out if it defaulted on its contractual responsibilities with its insurance providers. Since this money was collected by many students over a long period of time (many of whom have now graduated),  the GSS thinks it would not be ethical to dispense this money directly to current students in any way.
Instead, the Benefit Plan Committee recommends that the interest of the accumulated money be used to establish an endowment fund, from which annual bursaries can be given to financially needy graduate students to pay their benefit plan. The bursaries would be disbursed through an application process. At current interest rates, up to 10-12 financially needy graduate students could receive free health and dental benefits courtesy of the GSS. 

Please let me know your opinion.