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Disability Dispute Resolution Process

The Employer and the Union wish to see short and long-term disability claims processed in a fair and expedient manner.  The following provisions will be implemented upon date of ratification.


Notice of Suspension of Disability Benefits

The insurance carrier will provide an employee on disability leave with at least two weeks written notice of intention to suspend benefits.  The notice will state intended date of suspension, the reason for suspension, and, if appropriate, any actions the employee may take to maintain benefit continuation.  The union chairperson will receive a copy of the notice.


Dispute Resolution Process

Where there is a dispute between two physicians on the ability of the employee to return to work, the dispute shall be handled in the following manner:

(1)   The Employer will instruct the carrier to provide the physicians with a description of the employee’s job duties.  The physicians will be asked to discuss the case by phone to see if there is agreement.

(2)  If the physicians still disagree, the Union and the Employer shall review the matter and determine the appropriate examiner (i.e., general practitioner, specialist) for a third party independent medical opinion (IMO).  The IMO shall be binding.

(3)  The Employer will give the employee 48 hours advance written or verbal notice of the scheduled third-party examination.


Conditions in the Dispute Resolution Process

During the Dispute Resolution Process as described in Section B, the following conditions shall apply:

(1)   If an employee fails to show up for a scheduled examination, reasonable effort will be made to determine why the employee failed to show up for such examination.

(2)  The examination report (both verbal and written) will include a statement of “able to work”, “not able to work”, or “able to work with restrictions”.   The written notification of results to the employee determined to be “able to work” or “able to work with restrictions” will include instructions to report to the plant physician to inform him/her of the employee’s status.


Termination of Disability Benefits

(1)   The employee shall continue to receive disability benefits during the Dispute Resolution Process.  The benefits shall continue from the date of intended suspension for up to twelve (12) weeks or the date of resolution, if earlier.  

(2)  Where the employee has completed the Dispute Resolution Process as described above and it is determined that the employee is “able to return to work”, disability benefits shall terminate as of the date of the examination or, if later, the date that the examination results are made available to the employee.

(3)  Disability benefits shall continue if it is determined that the employee is “not able to work.”

(4)  If the employee is “able to return to work with restrictions”, but such modified work is not available or the employee does not have the seniority to qualify for the position, the employee will remain on disability.


Cost of Medical Note

(1)   Where the Employer or the carrier requires a medical note, including but not only a third party IMO, the Employer shall cover the cost of the note. 

(2)  If the employee must travel more than 20 kilometres (one way) for a medical examination required by the Employer or the carrier, the Company shall reimburse the employee at the rate of twenty-five cents ($0.25) per kilometre.


Letter #  Disability Dispute Resolution Process


Attention: National Representative

 Dear National Representative:

 The Employer and the Union want to establish a satisfactory procedure for processing disability claims.  The parties agree to monitor the Disability Dispute Resolution Process (Section x of Article X) over the term of the agreement.

 On a periodic basis representatives of the Employer and the Union will meet as an advisory committee to assess the current procedure.  Such a meeting may include but is not limited to:

  • A review of summary of reports from the IMO examiner, attending physician and workplace or carrier’s physician.
  • Establishing a list of examiners in the local area.  Each examiner must be approved jointly by the union and the employer.  An examiner can be removed from the list upon the request of the Union or the Employer.

 Yours truly,



Accepted and Approved:

National Union


 c.c.  Chairperson, Unifor Local xxx Bargaining Committee

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