I hope you are all doing well. I wanted to reach out with an update on what we have been working on since the last president’s update.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
We know that COVID-19 and the cohorting ordered by the public health order have negatively affected some of our members and reduced their income.
Casual and part-time employees who have had their hours reduced or are not getting any hours as a result of COVID-19, but are not laid off, can still access the CERB, as long as they’re making $1,000 or less per month in employment and/or self-employment income.
Here are the relevant portions from the Government of Canada’s questions and answers resource on the CERB:
Do I need to be laid off to access the CERB?
Workers who remain attached to their company can receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if they meet the eligibility requirements.
I am a part-time worker who has seen a reduction in my hours as a result of COVID-19. Am I eligible for the CERB?
You may be eligible if you have stopped working because of COVID-19.
When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for a period of at least 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim.
When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.
Saskatchewan Temporary Wage Supplement Program
On June 4, 2020 the Saskatchewan Government announced that they were expanding the temporary wage supplement program to include all workers at long-term care facilities, integrated health facilities, and personal care homes without the limiting criteria of earning no more than $24.00 per hour or $2,500 per month.
Following that announcement there seemed to be limited information for those employees who were previously not eligible to access and no additions to the online application process. We continued to ask the Ministry of Health for further information and clarification despite the announcement being very clear.
This week we learned that there would be updated information provided on the website, and you can find it here.
We published an open letter to Minister of Health Jim Reiter and CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority Scott Livingstone on cohorting in health care on June 10th. You can find it on the Local 5430 website.
We did not receive any response from Minister Reiter. This week I received a response from Mr. Livingstone that did nothing to address the issues that were raised.
We are continuing to work on the cohorting issue – asking that the cohorting assignments be reviewed, and where there are employees who are not getting work that they be changed to another more suitable facility.
Response to the Recognition Pay Letter and the Petition
We have reported to you that we wrote to the premier to ask that recognition pay be extended to all health care workers. The response that we received was a summary of the wage supplement program already introduced with no acknowledgement that all health care workers are part of the pandemic response.
You can help by signing the petition at www.skhealthproviders.ca, which asks for across-the-board recognition.
Long-term Care Report
On May 29th the Saskatchewan Health Authority quietly released the 2019 SHA CEO long-term care facility report. The report can be found here. You can go there to see what the report was for your facility. We had the report divided into facilities in each region, and these condensed reports were sent to your region. The facility representatives will have the opportunity to view them and hopefully respond to their region’s general vice-president.
Please provide input to your facility representative for our response to the report.
Thank you for your hard work every day. Please reach out to us at the contact information below. We love hearing from you, and we need to know how things are going in the workplace and how we can help.
- Main office: 306-546-2185