Bill 29 claim forms now available for potential claimants

Forms must be signed and mailed to the HEU Provincial Office in Burnaby by June 15

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Members and former members who were impacted by Bill 29 in the facilities subsector are now able to submit a claim form to determine if they are eligible to share in a Bill 29 compensation fund.

That fund is part of a settlement agreement on the implementation of last year's Supreme Court ruling on Bill 29, reached between health care unions and the B.C. government in late January.

On May 2, HEU mailed a claims package to thousands of potential Bill 29 claimants who have given the union their contact and background information in recent months.

What’s in the claims package?

  • Claim Form: must be filled out, signed and mailed to the union by the June 15, 2008 deadline. Packages that are mailed out include a postage-paid envelope with which to return the completed form to the union office.
  • Claim Form Guide: to assist people in filling out the form. This guide is also available in Filipino, Punjabi and Chinese, and will be mailed to individuals if requested.
  • Q&A for Potential Claimants: includes 11 questions frequently asked by Bill 29 claimants. People should review this information carefully before calling the HEU office with questions.

How do people get a claims package?

Members and former members who believe they have a claim under Bill 29 but who did not receive the package in the mail should:

  • Go to the union’s website and download the Claim Form, Claim Form Guide and Q&A for Potential Claimants in Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf). The claim form must be filled out, signed and mailed to: Bill 29 c/o Hospital Employees’ Union, 5000 North Fraser Way, Burnaby, B.C. V5J 5M3 by June 15, 2008.
  • Call toll-free 1-800-909-4994 and ask for a Bill 29 claims package to be mailed to you. Anyone leaving a voice mail message must speak slowly and clearly, and include their phone number along with their mailing address.
  • Send an email to <bill29compensation@heu.org> requesting that a package be mailed to them. Individuals must include their name and full mailing address.

People who were not members of HEU when they were impacted should obtain a claims package from the union that represented them when they were impacted by Bill 29.

Anyone who has questions about how to fill in the Claim Form, and did not find an answer in either the Claim Form Guide or the Question and Answers for Potential Claimants, can call the union toll-free at 1-800-909-4994. They can also send a question by email.

What happens after the June 15 deadline?

Individual health care workers were affected by Bill 29 in many different ways. In order to create a process for potential claimants that is as fair, objective and transparent as possible health unions secured the services of respected mediator and arbitrator Vince Ready.

On March 31, Ready handed down a decision that sets out categories of impact and criteria, under which potential claimants may qualify for redress. He also established several key questions for the Claim Form that will be used to determine whether or not an individual is eligible.

Once we have received all potential claims, a joint union-employer committee, assisted by Vince Ready, will use the information collected to determine whether or not a potential claimant is eligible for a payment from the fund, and the amount of money individuals who qualify will receive.

Given the high number of applications we anticipate receiving, and the time it will take to review each claim, the process will take some time. However, final decisions and cheque distribution must occur before the end of the year.

Everyone’s patience is greatly appreciated.