Changes are coming to Canada’s Employment Insurance program, and this means CUPE locals will need to get ready to bargain changes to maternity, parental and short-term disability (STD) plans.
The Liberal government has reduced the wait time for applicants to receive EI benefits, from two weeks to one week. This change applies to all benefits including regular, special (maternity, parental and sickness), as well as workers in the fishing industry.
CUPE members whose collective agreements provide supplemental unemployment benefit (SUB) plans and top-ups to maternity, parental, sick leave and short-term disability may be affected. Unlike most other employer payments that are clawed back from EI, claimants covered by SUB and top-up plans can earn a maximum of 95 per cent of normal weekly earnings. For maternity and other top-up plans, the amount is 100 per cent. Maternity and parental benefits in Quebec, which are provincially administered, are not affected.