Black and Indigenous Workers Fund (BIWF)

The Black and Indigenous Workers Fund (BIWF) is intended to serve as an immediate and individualized form of support for members who are impacted by anti-Black and/or anti-Indigenous racism. If you identify as in the group this fund intends to serve and have constructive feedback, and/or are interested in participating on the Local’s Equity Funds Committee, please write to your Secretary-Treasurer at st@cupe3902.org.  

The Local’s Equity Funds Committee (anonymously) reviews applications for the Survivors Fund, Trans Fund, International Legal Workers Fund, and Black and Indigenous Workers Fund. Your Secretary Treasurer, Vice-President, President or President’s designate, and ideally, community members representing each fund (two members per fund in Unit 1 and one member per fund in Unit 7), sit on this committee.

Who is eligible to apply to the fund?

Each year of the BIWF (1 September – 31 August), anyone who meets the following criteria is eligible to apply:

  1. You have secured at least 1 hour of Unit 1 work by the time the application is made, or have a guaranteed subsequent appointment.
  2. You have been impacted by anti-Black and/or anti-Indigenous racism.

Application deadlines: Applications are due during the fund year in which expenses are incurred. Exceptions to this may be made on a case-by-case basis (such as when expenses are incurred close to the end of the fund year). Please write to your Secretary-Treasurer at st@cupe3902.org if you have any questions.

What expenses are eligible for reimbursement?

Understanding that anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism can impact many areas of life, the fund deliberately does not define all eligible expenses. Members are invited to submit claims for any expenses they consider eligible.

Examples of eligible expenses include:

  1. Related legal fees (including related transportation costs, childcare).
  2. Related medical fees in excess of what is covered by Green Shield (including counselling, health services not covered by insurance, procedures to remove visible signs of violence, and related transportation and childcare costs).
  3. Safety costs, including secure transportation, self defence classes, etc.
  4. Emergency relocation to secure safe housing, including moving fees, first and last month’s rent, hotel stays, etc.
 

Expenses incurred in the fund year (1 September – 31 August) will be eligible for reimbursement.

How much money will I get?

The fund has been allocated $25,000 per year. There is a $5,000 per person per fund year cap, and a $15,000 per person total cap.

The fund year turns over on 1 September, so it is possible to maximize benefits by submitting two back-to-back applications, one in August and the other in September.

If there are monies left over after the fund has reimbursed all eligible claims, the remainder of the monies will be reallocated to Group B of the SWAF for that year.

When will I get my money?

Equity Fund review dates in Winter 2023 are TBD. The most recent meeting was on December 15th, 2022.For your application to be considered at one of these meetings, it must be received at least one day in advance. We will do our best to accommodate last-minute applications, but this cannot be guaranteed.We aim to mail disbursement cheques to eligible applicants within two weeks of approval.

How will disbursement decisions be made?

Applications will be reviewed and eligibility decisions made on a case-by-case basis by the Equity Funds Committee. The Equity Funds Committee is comprised of the Secretary-Treasurer, the Chair (or designate), the Vice-Presidents of any Unit with Equity Funds, and two members per Equity Fund to represent the relevant constituencies, to be appointed by the Executive Committee after a call for applications.

The Secretary-Treasurer chairs meetings of the Equity Funds Committee, presenting an anonymized and paraphrased version of each application to the committee for review. No other officer or member of the Local has access to Equity Fund applications.

How do I apply?

If you have worked 1+ hour since 1 September of the fund year, the application form will be available online and accessible through the Union’s website. To find the application, login to the Member Portal (found by scrolling up to the top right of this page), and select the ‘Forms’ tab.

A complete application for the fund will include:

  1. Political membership — you must have signed a membership card or filled out a Membership Application Form. (If you do not have a CUPE No. (found on the left-hand side of the Portal home page), then you have yet to gain political membership. To do so, select the ‘Forms’ tab and fill out the Membership Application Form PLEASE NOTE: processing membership applications can take up to one hour.)
  2. The Black and Indigenous Workers Fund Application Form.
  3. Supporting documentation — this documentation should include a statement outlining the need for which funding is being requested, and any other supporting documentation you may have (receipts, invoices, letters of support, etc.).

You will receive an automatic confirmation email for each application you submit. PLEASE NOTE: if you do not receive a confirmation email you did not successfully submit the application.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The fund year is 1 September – 31 August. The fund cap per person per year resets every year.

 

OTHER RESOURCES

CUPE 3902, Unit 1 members’ access to relevant healthcare:

  • Mental health care (counselling/MSW/social worker, incl. psychotherapy): $2500/year under top-up plan + $500 under base plan (total: $3000)
  • Basic dental: $1350/year
  • Glasses/contact lenses/laser eye surgery: $225/year
  • Family HCSA: $600/year
  • Drug max: $15K/year

Health plan combined max: $15K/year