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Member support in 2020

2020 brought many challenges - the pandemic, economic disruption, rising mental health pressures - and we worked diligently to help Alberta's communities navigate these issues. 

This webpage is intended to help our members by providing a reference for available support with links to more information. Any specific questions should be e-mailed to the appropriate AUMA contact provided on the side of the page. The content on this webpage may change, so please keep checking back for updates and watch our social media accounts for announcements.

Municipal infrastructure & stimulus funding

Advocating for municipal infrastructure dollars remains a high priority for AUMA. In 2020, AUMA worked hard to help our governments understand the financial crisis our municipalities are facing. While we are encouraged with recent funding announcements, including the Government of Alberta launching the $500 million Municipal Stimulus Program to help stimulate the economy through construction of municipal infrastructure, we will continue to advocate for additional support as there cannot be a full recovery without strong municipalities.

As you navigate upcoming projects, we will continue to support you. Recently, we held an Ask the Expert webinar that addresses managing construction risk during economic recovery. We encourage you to watch the recorded webinar and to talk to us about other available services.

Please, reach out to our client development team if you have any questions or need support.

Mental health support

In 2019, there was an industry-wide rise in mental health awareness and recognition, and continued growth in disability claims related to mental illness. In response to this, we expanded our offerings for employees and their families to better support those that need help. 

Supporting the mental health of the employees of our members is important in building strong and vibrant communities. Increased offerings include:

Employee Benefits: Psychological Services
Our Employee Benefits program has doubled the annual maximum for psychological services for all Alberta municipalities and community-related organizations. Support for plan participants increased from $750/year to $1,500/year. Contact our team to learn more about the robust mental health support offered through our program.

Employee Benefits: Mental Health Navigator
Best Doctors expanded through the addition of the Mental Health Navigator companion program. This addition provides access to a team of leading psychologists and psychiatrists to deliver many benefits, including virtual delivery of services, coordination of care, and coaching for frontline service providers. Not only was this component added to the Best Doctors program we offer, but it is also available to parents and parents-in-law.

Maintaining Mental Fitness 
In 2020, the pandemic brought feelings of uncertainty, increased stress, and added pressure to our lives. As demands on mental health increased, we looked for ways to support municipal employees virtually.

Created in partnership with AUMA, Alberta Municipality Health and Safety Association (AMHSA), Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and Howatt HR the Maintaining Mental Fitness initiative attracted almost 1000 people to register each week in the free webinar series. These weekly discussions examine the key behaviours organizations and individuals can do to maintain mental fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Navigating information

The pandemic quickly brought an overwhelming amount of change. To support members, we developed support for changing times, streamlined information, and advocated for members.

  • From hosting council meetings via electronic means to a guide for municipal leaders on the governments’ response to COVID-19, our COVID-19 webpage provides a variety of information and links to credible sources.
  • We hosted or sponsored 35 webinars and developed comprehensive online resources. 
    • Many webinars have been recorded and are posted on our YouTube channel
    • Upcoming webinars will be profiled in our Weekly Digest. Subscribe to stay informed.
  • Our team conducted 135 member visits, in-person and virtually, to make sure we were meeting your needs.

“In a time of great uncertainty and quickly-changing information, AUMA reached out to provide much-needed supports, advocacy, and information.”  - Mayor Kate Potter, Town of Sexsmith

Cost savings & budget certainty

2020 brought challenging economic times, which created financial anxiety for many. In January, we brought members together at our AUMA President's Summit on Municipal Finances: Transparent and Effective. We had many productive conversations discussing solutions in a period of fiscal restraint and developed meaningful next steps.

As the year progressed, the pandemic created additional financial disruption. Because we serve communities, not shareholders, we responded with cost savings and budget certainty.

Insurance & Risk Services

  • Despite facing a challenging market, our Insurance & Risk Services provided a premium offset of $2 million, shielding our members from market shocks. Contact our team to learn more about the power of the pool.
  • When fewer cars were on the road this spring, we negotiated automobile insurance premium credits for participating members.

Employee Benefits

  • Many health care providers were unable to provide care due to COVID-19. With members unable to visit dentists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and others, we provided $1.8 million in premium credits to participating members.
  • Our Employee & Family Assistance Program rates were reduced by 16%.

Energy

  • We secured electricity for over 100 municipalities through our process of aggregation, 5-12% below future market forecasts. Contact our team to learn more.