The BCTF operates a Salary Indemnity Plan (SIP) to provide both short-term and long-term benefits to teachers who are ill or have been injured and have exhausted their sick leave. These benefits are non-taxable and provided without deductions. However, SIP does not provide coverage for extended health or dental. Teachers should check the provisions of their local collective agreements. They should not let their coverage lapse.
Short-term SIP provides up to 120 days of benefits, equal to 50% of the member's gross annual salary, and it pays their required pension contribution directly to their plan. If a teacher exhausts their 120 days and there is continued medical substantiation of the claim, long-term SIP benefits come into effect. This benefit equals 65% of the first $40,000 gross annual salary, 50% of the next $40,000 of gross salary, and 40% of the balance, plus an amount paid directly to the member's pension plan equal to their required contribution.
Contrary to popular opinion, SIP is not an extension of sick leave. Detailed medical information is required to substantiate a claim: this includes a diagnosis, treatment information and recommendations, accommodations that may be necessary in the workplace to return the member to their assignment, etc. A member in receipt of benefits beyond three months will usually be required to provide supporting medical evidence of ongoing care and treatment by a licensed specialist physician or a registered psychologist. SIP case managers may require members to undergo an independent medical examination to either substantiate the claim, clarify a diagnosis, and/or provide recommendations for appropriate treatment and workplace accommodations.
If a member is unable to maintain, or return to, their teaching position because of a medical illness or disability, the SIP funds an early intervention rehabilitation program-the BCTF Health and Wellness Program. It operates throughout the province by contracting local rehabilitation consultants, in consultation with the member's health care provider, to co-ordinate services that improve their health and functional abilities.