Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Here is some of the newest information affecting our members.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The House of Commons passed an emergency measures bill. The bill includes a major change to government programs to support people who cannot work because of COVID-19. The newly created Canada Emergency Response Benefit will offer up to $2,000 a month in direct support through the Canada Revenue Agency for four months. Trudeau announced an online portal to process requests to be launched soon.
Unconfirmed, but word is they are going to use the My Account through CRA as a portal to set up requests. If you are not yet set up on MyAccount it would be good to beat the rush. For more information follow the link https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html
Members looking for the latest information regarding Federal Government financial support can go to https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html
Job Site Conditions for Members still Working
As many of you have seen firsthand, many of the job sites have not been up to code with the new health and safety regulations imposed by WorkSafeBC. Through direct pressure from you out in the field and political scrutiny brought on by the BC Building Trades, we are seeing positive change. WorkSafeBC announced a new program called “Inspection Initiative”. We have received reports that WorkSafeBC now has 90 enforcement officers out inspecting construction sites and enforcing compliance. They have also increased staff on the WorkSafeBC prevention line, going from 6 people to 30. If you are still experiencing concerns on worksite safety, let your supervisor know, call the Union and most importantly, call the new Prevention line number at 1-888-621-7233.
Job Protection - Changes to BC Employment Standards Act
The B.C. government has made two changes to the Employment Standards Act to support workers both during the COVID-19 public health emergency and in the long term.The government said in a written statement the changes will allow workers immediately to take unpaid, job-protected leave if they are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19.
This means workers who are ill, need to self-isolate, need to care for their child or other dependent, or whose employer is concerned that the employee may expose others to risk, will be able to take leave without putting their job at risk. Please the link below for more information https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/province-changes-employment-standards-act-1.5507683
The government has also launched a COVID-19 APP and is encouraging everyone to download it. You will find a self assessment tool, statistics, updates, and answers to many questions you may have.
Protecting your mental health:
Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan (CHIRP), continues to offer long-term counselling to assist our members.
These are challenging times, and we urge you to be mindful of your mental health as well as your physical health. As a member of the BC Building Trades, you have access to the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan, which offers a number of options to keep your mental health in check. CIRP offers long-term counselling to assist members dealing with depression, anxiety, substance use, pain management and other mental health concerns. All services are free, and available via video conferencing during this new working-from-home “normal.”
Please remember to help others when and where you can.
- Stay home if you are sick or others in your house are sick
- Stay in contact by phone or social media
- Don’t oversaturate yourself with COVID-19 information. Stick to the facts
- Help your neighbors especially if they are elderly – practice physical distancing
- Be PATIENT and courteous to others. We are all stressed!
- Most important – ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT!
If you would like more information or have questions that we have not answered please give the office a call at 250-727-3458.
It’s in times of crisis, that I see the strength, generosity and resilience of our 276 members. We will get through this difficult time together.
Business manager Local 276