Change in benefit coverage contradicts Bell’s pledge to mental health support

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Today, on Bell Let's Talk Day 2024, Unifor wrote to Bell Canada to address recent changes in mental health coverage at Bell Technical Solutions (BTS). Despite Bell Canada's commitment to mental health, the shift from Industrial Alliance to the Manulife Omni-flex plan at BTS has resulted in reduced mental health services for our members.

The union expressed that the company’s recent adjustments contradict its pledge to mental health, leaving members expected to pay out-of-pocket for services that were once covered. 

“It's disappointing to see these changes at Bell Technical Solutions affecting mental health services for our members, going against the company's supposed commitment. We're standing firm in pushing for proper mental health support, urging Bell Canada to match their words with actions," said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.

In addition, Unifor has raised a number of workplace issues with Bell which are causing unnecessary stress and conflict:

  • Unrealistic performance management standards which contribute to poor mental health and stress

  • The BCE travel ban and its impact on a multitude of long-established meetings, including in-person health and safety meetings

  • The erosion of our bargaining units and contracting out

  • The problematic treatment of Bell workers in Atlantic Canada where the same pay out-of-pocket model exist

“Many factors contribute to workers’ mental health. Our first priority must be to prevent mental health issues, and this means examining work practices that contribute to poor mental health,” said Len Poirier, National Secretary-Treasurer.

Unifor has contacted Bell Canada about their reduction in mental health services and will continue to advocate for the mental health and well-being of all our members. It is crucial that the company's actions align with the public commitment to mental health, not only on Bell Let's Talk Day but every day. Let us collectively work towards creating a work environment that genuinely prioritizes the mental health and well-being of workers, setting an example for other companies to follow.