New plasma donor centres are opening in Ontario
Plasma donors are vital links in Canada’s Lifeline and the need for plasma is growing. To help meet this need, Canadian Blood Services is opening two new plasma donor centres this spring in Brampton and Ottawa. The new plasma donor centre at 8255 Financial Drive in Brampton will open first to employees on April 25 and then to new donors on May 9. The Ottawa plasma donor centre, at 110 Place d'Orléans Drive, will open to employees and to new donors on June 6. Help spread the word about the need for plasma donors and the growing opportunities to donate across the country. Read more on Connect about plasma and our new collection sites.
Manulife benefits rate changes take effect April 14
For employees who have Manulife extended healthcare benefits, please note that as part of the annual benefits renewal process, the following rate changes will take effect and be reflected on the pay of April 14, 2022.
- Premiums for Life (basic, optional, dependent) — no change
- Premiums for Extended Health — increase of 6%
- Premiums Dental — increase of 4%
- Premiums for LTD — decrease of 5% (Note: There will be only a $0.01 premium processed on your pay from April 2022 to September 2022 due to a ‘premium holiday’ negotiated with Manulife. Regular deductions for LTD premiums will resume on your October 14, 2022 pay.)
Visit Connect for more information on the benefit rate changes.
Resources for Manulife Group RRSP members regarding market volatility are available
Distressing world events from the pandemic to the war in Ukraine have far-reaching global effects, including effects on financial markets. Recently, many employees have had questions about how their investments with their Manulife Group RRSPs might be affected. Dealing with larger-than-normal market swings may be unsettling for some employee plan members, so Manulife has created the following resources to help us understand the ongoing market fluctuations. Two articles, What is market volatility and how to handle it and Tips for dealing with market volatility, as well as webinar sessions on market fluctuations are available to all Manulife Group RRSP members.
Question of the day: Many provinces are seeing spikes in COVID cases again. Is this a sixth wave and what do I need to know?
A COVID-19 resurgence is underway in most parts of Canada, and many are calling this the “sixth wave.” This resurgence is being driven by the removal of requirements for mechanisms to prevent spread of COVID-19 in many provinces. The arrival of the highly transmissible BA.2 Omicron subvariant is also driving the increase in cases. Although this is discouraging, it is important to note that Public Health Agency of Canada modelling indicates that, as far as they can be measured given the current level of testing and reporting, cases and severe outcomes have declined significantly since the peak of the Omicron wave.
It’s vital to remember that physical distancing and masking remain important. While public health restrictions have eased, most public health professionals continue to recommend, as much as possible, continued physical distancing and masking. Canadian Blood Services believes that wearing a mask is an important tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19. To safeguard our employees, protect our operations and prevent disruptions to delivery of life-saving products for patients, we continue to maintain our mandatory mask policy.
The second key piece of information to remember is that vaccination (including boosters) is our best defence against hospitalization and serious illness. Researchers have seen booster doses result in substantial increase in protection against symptomatic illness.
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