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.
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 at a meeting near the end of each month. The Secretary Treasurer, Vice Chair of Unit 1, Chair/Chair’s designate, and, ideally, 2 community members per fund sit on this committee. If you are interested in participating, please write to the Secretary Treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* If you identify as in the group this fund intends to serve and have constructive feedback, please write to the Secretary Treasurer at email@example.com.*
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:
- You have secured at least 1 hour of Unit 1 work by the time the application is made, or have a guaranteed subsequent appointment.
You have been impacted by anti-Black and/or anti-Indigenous racism.
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:
- Related legal fees (including related transportation costs, childcare).
- 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).
- Safety costs, including secure transportation, self defence classes, etc.
- Emergency relocation to secure safe housing, including moving fees, first and last month’s rent, hotel stays, etc.
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 the SWAF for that year.
When will I get my money?
Applications are open year-round, and processed on a rolling basis, monthly or as needed. Disbursements will follow within one month of successful application. If your situation is too emergent to wait for the Equity Funds Committee meeting at the end of the month, please email the Secretary-Treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org with “URGENT” in the subject line and an emergency Committee meeting may be called.
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-Chairs 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:
- 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 four (4) business days.)
- The Black and Indigenous Workers Fund Application Form.
- 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.
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