Retirees' News: March 2004

The University of Manitoba Retirees' News
Volume Eight, Issue One
March 2004

Time to Meet Again with Fellow Retirees

After one of the bitterest winters for those of us living in Winnipeg, it is time we got out and met again at the President’s Reception for Retirees. It will be held on Saturday, April 17th, in the Beausejour Room, University Centre, Fort Garry Campus. Every thing gets underway at 2:00 p.m.

On April 20, 2002, Dr. Anita Brûle-Babél spoke on Genetically Modified Organisms: Development, Issues and Regulations with specific reference to the development of canola oil. She noted the controversy about such developments. As a follow up to her presentation we have invited Professor Arthur Schafer to be our guest speaker. Professor Schafer is the Director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University. In addition to being a member of the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts, he holds a cross appointment with the Health Science Centre as an Ethics Consultant. Professor Schafer has been very concerned about the freedom of individuals to express their opinions regarding what is taking place within the fields of medical science, agriculture and food and nutrition. He has chosen as his topic, “Two Great Academic Scandals, the Olivieri and Healy Cases”.

Following Arthur’s presentation, Mrs. Deborah McCallum, Vice-President (Administration), will bring us news as to what has happened at the University since last October. Norm Long will give us an update on the United Way Campaign. After these presentations refreshments will be served during which time you will be able to meet with other retirees with whom you are acquainted. Don’t forget to bring your spouse and invite those survivors of retirees that you know to come as well. Please RSVP by April 8th by calling 474-9124 or e-mail Barbara Cameron at

Fall Reception

The next President’s Reception for Retirees is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 16th. This will be confirmed in the next Newsletter to be published in September.

CURAC Conference – May 26-28, 2004

The annual conference of the College and University Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC) will be held at the University of Winnipeg. The University of Manitoba Retirees Association and the University of Winnipeg Retirement Association are co-hosting the conference. A conference committee has been formed with Dr. Nora Losey as Chair. More than 20 people have volunteered to serve on the various committees needed to organize, manage and fund the event.

The theme of the Conference is “Building Relationships”. Speakers from departments in the Federal and Provincial Government will discuss what their respective departments do for retirees. Spokespersons from community groups, such as Creative Retirement, Age and Opportunity Bureau and Manitoba Society of Seniors will bring a local perspective on working with retirees. Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, newly appointed President of the University of Winnipeg, will address the Conference. It is anticipated that 80 delegates will be in attendance, with approximately half from outside the city. The University of Manitoba has been most cooperative in providing space and administrative support for those involved in planning the Conference. The program for the Conference is included with this newsletter. As a retiree, you are welcome to register and attend the Conference.

Centenary Celebration – Faculty of Science

The history of the Faculty of Science can be traced to 1904 when the University of Manitoba hired the first six Professors in the Natural Sciences. This also initiated the teaching enterprise under the auspices of the University. Up to that time teaching was the responsibility of the colleges.

To mark this occasion, the Faculty of Science will be holding a once-in-a-lifetime anniversary. The Centenary Banquet will be on Saturday, April 3rd, at the Fort Garry Hotel. Tickets are $50 per person. A maximum of 290 places has been reserved for this event.

It has been a century of great progress and achievement for the Faculty of Science. There is much to be proud of what it has accomplished over the century. For more information contact the Office of the Dean of Science at 474-8256.

What You Wanted to Know: Supplementary Health Benefits for Retirees

The University of Manitoba is changing the current cost sharing arrangements for those who retire after June 30, 2004. The current proposal is a sharing of the cost of the premium on a 50/50 basis between the University and the retiree to age 75. After reaching age 75 the retiree will pay 100% of the premium.

It should be noted that if this proposal is approved, it does not cover those who are currently retired. The reason for this is the financial viability of the program for those who retire after June 30th. If current retirees were to be included in this new program the claims would far exceed the revenues generated by the premiums paid by the University and those retiring. Consequently, the supplementary health and dental benefits for current retirees remain unchanged. Supplementary health benefits terminate when the retiree reaches age 75. Dental benefits are for life.

There are supplementary health plans available for those over age 75. Two of them are Medi-Blue Deluxe, offered by Manitoba Blue Cross and PLANDIRECT, provided by
Great West Life Assurance Company. It should be noted that if you are interested in these plans you should apply within sixty days after reaching age 75.
Retirees are reminded that when making a claim for supplementary health or dental benefits the claim should be sent directly to Great West Life Assurance Company or Manitoba Blue Cross. The claim forms can be retrieved electronically from the University Home Page by going to www. Click on Administration on the left-hand side of the page, look for Human Resources Department, click on it and then onto Staff Benefits Office. When it pops up, look for Download PDF Files on the left side of the page. A click on that will take you to the forms you need. One of the advantages of accessing the forms this way is you can type in the information required to complete the form before printing it. Makes it a great deal easier than trying to filling in the spaces by hand. For those of you who do not have a computer, don’t despair. You can always phone the Staff Benefits Office at (204) 474-7428 or write a letter to Staff Benefits Office, 180 Continuing Education Complex, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 and they will send the forms to you.

University of Manitoba Retirees Association

As mentioned in the last Retirees’ News, the University formally established the University of Manitoba Retirees Association. The mailing address for the Association is Box 5, Administration Building, University of Manitoba, R3T 2N2. The telephone number is (204) 474-9438 (John Mundie’s office) and the fax number is (204) 474-7505. The e-mail address is

There will be a meeting on Saturday, April 24th, for the purpose of holding an election of officers for the Retiree Association. It is envisioned that the executive would consist of the following positions: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor of the Newsletter, two members at large and Past Chair. Persons would be elected for a three-year term and could be re-elected for an additional term. A constitution will be developed to govern the operation of the Association. Persons interested in participating in the affairs of the Association are invited to attend this meeting. It will be held in Room 543/544, University Centre beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Change in University’s Representative to the Retirees Association

Ms. Kathy Vitt has been the University’s representative to the Association since September 1999. Because of changes in her responsibilities, she will no longer be working with the Association. We thank Kathy for all that she did on our behalf over the past 3½ years. Taking Kathy’s place are Ms. Rosalyn Howard, Manager, Learning & Development Services, and Ms. Barbara Cameron, Learning & Development Assistant. We look forward to working with them.

2003 United Way Campaign

Each year the retirees of the University participate in the United Way Campaign in the fall. For 2003, the total raised at the University was $391,701. Of this amount the retirees pledged $60,463, which is 15.3% of the total and up 1.5% from the previous year. We say thank you to all those who participated. You have made a difference to many of our citizens through your generous support. Norm Long has been the retirees’ representative on the University United Way Campaign Committee since 1999. He has decided to step down this year. Irv Gusdal will take over the United Way responsibility. We thank Norm for the work he has done on behalf of the retirees on the Committee.

Requests for Volunteers

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg are looking for volunteers for its in-school mentoring program. Any one interested in this activity is asked to contact the association at 988-9200.

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