Prepared by and distributed on behalf of the Board of Directors of GSA Carleton Inc.

Dear Members,

As you are likely aware from our previous Membership Advisory (below), the Carleton Undergraduate Students’ Association (CUSA) has been privately negotiating a new for-profit health plan.

Last week, in an emergency meeting called by CUSA President Alex Golovko, CUSA council passed a motion to change its bylaws. This highly questionable change was intended to give the CUSA Inc. Board of Trustees (President, VP Finance, and VP Internal) power to hold a “referendum” amongst themselves to approve or terminate various contracts related to our joint Health, Dental, and Accident Plan.

As of July 31st, 2012, CUSA Inc. has chosen to break existing contracts, two of which are with the GSA, and pursue a new health plan with a new broker. GSA Carleton Inc. maintains that these contracts are operative and in full force and effect.

The GSA Carleton Inc. Board of Directors would like to outline why CUSA’s new health plan and the actions of CUSA are unacceptable:

  1. The current year (2012) is not a contract renewal period and the CUSA Inc. Board of Trustees has placed itself in legal peril for no justifiable reason.
  2. CUSA Inc. has sole-sourced the health plan rather than performing basic due diligence such as undertaking a comprehensive tendering process.
  3. The plan CUSA has locked itself into is a long-term, five year agreement. There are no guaranteed benefit levels beyond the first year, and no rate guarantees beyond the second year.
  4. The new plan is inferior to the current plan, particularly with regards to drug and dental coverage.
  5. CUSA has not been transparent and has refused to divulge the broker’s fees and commissions for the new plan. Overall, financing of the plan is incomplete.
  6. The new plan proposal identifies reducing the number of students who opt out of the plan as one method to mitigate the cost of the plan.

These and other concerns have made it obvious to the GSA Board of Directors that the new plan adopted by CUSA’s Trustees is not in the best interest of students. The joint agreement signed between CUSA and the GSA in 2000 has provided a consistently improving health plan for Carleton students for over eleven years. It is regrettable that CUSA’s Trustees have gone to such lengths to violate agreements and damage their relationship with the Carleton graduate student community.

The Board of Directors of GSA Carleton Inc. would like to reassure graduate students at Carleton that they will have continued access to their health, dental and accident plan, including the substantial improvements to the plan commencing September 1st that have been previously announced. The staff and executive of the GSA have been working with the current broker to ensure that graduate students will receive the support needed to access their benefits.