How your trust works

Your benefits are provided through ONE-T – an employee life and health trust (ELHT) – instead of through your school board. The trust provides benefits to approximately 7,500 management and non-union employees, and 7,500 Principals/Vice-Principals (P/VPs). ONE-T’s total membership is about 15,000 members, creating a solid framework for a strong and sustainable benefits trust.

How does it work? Essentially, ONE-T holds the funds set aside to provide life, health and dental benefits for eligible plan members. The government provides funding, which can be used only to provide the designated benefits to plan members, and cover any reasonable costs to manage and administer the trust.

Providing benefits through a trust offers some key advantages , including stable, sustainable access to benefits without the ongoing challenge of locally bargaining benefits. The size of our combined membership means greater buying power and related financial advantages – as well as greater benefits security for you.

Funding and governance

To fund your benefits, the Ontario government provides a negotiated amount of money to the individual school boards each year. The boards, in turn, contribute that money to ONE-T to fund your benefits.

ONE-T is managed by a Board of Trustees with representatives from both the government and our collective membership:
  • 4 appointed by the Employer and the Crown; and
  • 5 appointed by CAEAS-ECAB (which supports other unaffiliated employees) and the Principals/Vice-Principals (P/VPs).
The Trustees are ultimately responsible for effectively managing ONE-T, including making a broad range of administrative and investment decisions. Regardless of any personal affiliations, the individual Trustees have a fiduciary obligation to manage the trust in the best interest of all plan members.


Providing benefits through a trust offers some key advantages – including stable, sustainable access to benefits without the ongoing challenge of locally bargaining benefits.

Provider roles and responsibilities

After a thorough due diligence process, the Board selected Cowan, Great-West Life and Chubb to partner with ONE-T. Key qualifications included experience with benefits trusts and within the education sector, long-term partnership potential, robust technology, value for the quoted fees and the ability to provide excellent service to our members.

Cowan (plan administrator) – As plan administrator, Cowan is responsible for tasks like collecting and maintaining member information, confirming eligibility (based on trust-established rules) and enrolling eligible members.

Cowan
1-888-330-4010
one-t@cowangroup.ca

When to contact Cowan:

  • For questions on enrollment, eligibility and benefits costs
  • To request an additional or replacement benefits card
  • For help logging into or using Cowan’s Member Access site


Great-West Life and Chubb (insurers) – Great-West Life and Chubb are both responsible for reviewing and paying member claims. Great-West Life reviews and pays life insurance, dental and extended healthcare claims; Chubb reviews and pays claims for accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D).

Great-West Life
1-866-800-8086
GroupNet for Plan Members

When to contact Great-West Life:

When to contact Chubb:

  • For AD&D claims (Employee, Spouse and Child)



Your Board of Trustees

Dr. Sue Wurtele (Trustee Chair)
Faye Drennan
Zev Frishman
Kelly Kempel
John Lewis
Michel Paulin
Robin Pilkey
James (Jim) Sinclair
Lee Watchorn
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Dr. Sue Wurtele (Trustee Chair)

Sue is an award-winning educator and is lead negotiator for the Trent University Faculty Association. Through her years in that role, and as chair of the provincial collective bargaining committee for university faculty, she has gained extensive experience in management, as well as the technical aspects of group insurance. Additionally, Sue was the labour co-chair of the University Pension Project, a project to create a province-wide university sector pension plan. Sue skillfully managed very difficult relations in bringing multiple labour groups together as well as representing members in discussions with employers.

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Faye Drennan

Faye worked in education for 50 years before retiring on December 31, 2017. She was an active participant in P/VP Provincial Negotiations, and was part of the Negotiations Team in 2012 and 2016. Faye was with OPC for 19 years; she served as a Protective Services Consultant for 10 years, and has since served as the Senior Terms and Conditions Manager. Faye has participated in provincial teacher union bargaining as part of the Ontario Public School Board’s team providing a P/VP perspective. More recently, Faye took on a lead role in the ELHT project for P/VPs.

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Zev Frishman

Zev is the Chief Investment Officer for Morneau Shepell Asset & Risk Management Ltd. He has close to 40 years of experience in finance and investment management, about half of which were spent in senior positions with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Zev is well-versed in all aspects of fund management (policy development, strategic & tactical asset allocation, risk management, etc.). He is currently a member of two investment-related advisory boards; he also serves as a financial adviser to the board of a not-for-profit organization.

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John Lewis

John has worked in various leadership roles in the Group Benefits Division at Sun Life Financial. John held positions in Business Development and Regional Management, where he was instrumental in acquiring the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), Sun Life’s flagship account. John later became Senior Vice-President Group Development of MBNA Bank, responsible for the business development functions of the affinity clients segment. Today, John is CEO reporting to the Board of Directors of the Federal PSHCP Administration Authority. This organization is responsible for the operational oversight and compliance management of the PSHCP, as part of a shared governance model in partnership with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and Public Works and Government Services Canada.

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Michel Paulin

Michel recently retired with more than 35 years of progressive experience in financial and organizational management roles within the financial co-operative and education sectors, where he held senior executive management positions. Michel has extensive knowledge and experience on Boards and Committees at the provincial and national levels within the associative non-profit, insurance, financial co-operative and public education sectors. Michel currently serves as an independent business consultant with a focus on school board management, policy governance and strategic enterprise risk management. He is also a board member of Le Groupe Media TFO and Chair of the Audit Committee.

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Robin Pilkey

Robin is the Trustee for Parkdale – High Park in Toronto, and the current Chair of the Toronto District School Board. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant and has an extensive understanding of the education sector. She is the past Audit Committee Chair at the TDSB and currently sits on the Audit Committee of the United Church of Canada. Robin has over 25 years of experience in accounting and taxation in several different industries.

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James (Jim) Sinclair

Jim currently serves as General Counsel at the Ontario Securities Commission. He has over 30 years of experience in the securities, investment management, pension advisory, pension administrative and financial services sectors. Jim has served in senior management roles at the Ministry of the Attorney General and Ministry of Finance to provide specialized advice on securities, pensions, insurance and tax matters.

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Lee Watchorn

Lee had a lengthy career at Sun Life Financial, and for 8 years, he was responsible for all of Sun Life's businesses in Canada. Lee is President of the Watchorn Advisory Group, a company he established to provide advice to senior business leaders. He is Chair of the Advisory Council of Sionna Investment Managers, and recently retired after 12 years as a Director of Equitable Life of Canada. Lee is currently a Director and chairs the Audit Committee of BF&M Ltd, a Bermuda-based public insurance company, and sits on the Boards of major subsidiaries in Barbados and the Cayman Islands. Lee also teaches a course in insurance in the MBA program at the Schulich School at York University, and is a past Chair of Prostate Cancer Canada and a past President of St. John Ambulance Ontario Council.

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Kelly Kempel

Kelly Kempel is a recently retired secondary school Principal from the Waterloo Region District School board. As a former President of the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), Kelly brings experience to the ONE-T trust through her involvement in the development and negotiation of the plan, as well as being a plan member prior to her retirement. Kelly also has previous experience serving as a Board member for Family and Children’s Services of Waterloo Region.