Sexual and Domestic Violence Survivors Fund (Survivors Fund)

The Sexual and Domestic Violence Survivors Fund (Survivors Fund) is intended to serve as an immediate and individualized form of support for members who are survivors of sexual and/or domestic violence. The fund has temporarily been expanded to cover additional expenses following on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Local’s Equity Funds Committee (anonymously) reviews applications for the Survivors Fund, Trans Fund, and International Legal Workers Fund. 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 st@cupe3902.org.

*This is a member driven fund that came out of members needs, and was specifically modeled on the CUPE 3903 Sexual Assault Survivor Fund. If you identify as in the group this fund intends to serve and have constructive feedback, please write to the Secretary Treasurer at st@cupe3902.org.*

Who is eligible to apply to the fund?

Each year of the Survivors Fund (1 May – 30 April), 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 are a survivor of sexual and/or domestic violence.
What expenses are eligible for reimbursement?

Understanding that violence 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. Legal fees.
  2. Related counselling fees in excess of what is covered by Green Shield.
  3. Administrative fees associated with change of name ($137), re-issuing of passport ($120 for the 5yr, $160$ for the 10yr), etc.
  4. Related medical procedures not covered by Green Shield(e.g., STI tests, emergency dental procedures, laser treatment to remove visible signs of violence, etc.), and related transportation costs.
  5. Safety costs, including lock changes, hair cuts, new phone numbers, secure transportation, etc.
  6. Emergency relocation to secure safe housing, including moving fees, first and last month’s rent, hotel stays, etc.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund has temporarily been expanded to also cover:

  1. Stocking up on medications.
  2. Emergency relocation to secure safe housing, including moving fees, first and last month’s rent, hotel stays, etc. (Expenses above and beyond fund caps will be considered.)

Expenses incurred in the fund year (1 May – 30 April) 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 May, so it is possible to maximize benefits by submitting two back-to-back applications, one in April and the other in May.

If there are monies left over after the fund has reimbursed all eligible claims, the remainder of the monies will be reallocated to the USAF 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

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 May 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 four (4) business days.)
  2. The Survivors 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 May – 30 April. The fund cap per person per year resets every year.

OTHER RESOURCES

CUPE 3902, Unit 1 members’ protections under the Collective Agreement (CA) for Survivors:

  • one month’s paid leave for survivors (p. 58)
  • four month’s paid “Surgery, Hospitalization, and Serious Illness” leave which can be used for mental-health purposes (p. 57)
  • Sexual violence and harassment protections (pp. 9-11)
  • Letter of Understanding on Sexual Violence (p. 85)

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