How IUOE Local 115 is Supporting Members


March 27 Update

COVID-19 Information for Members

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is impacting employment for an unprecedented number of people across the country. Below is a summary of available supports you may find helpful.

EI-Qualifying Layoff

Apply for EI as normal if you are laid-off for non-medical reasons

  • Need 700 hours work in past year
  • Record of Employment (ROE) required
  • Pays up to $573/week
  • First 4 months, you will receive Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • If you are already receiving EI, benefits continue as before
  • If you are receiving EI and benefits end before Oct 3, you can apply for CERB.

All Other Work Disruptions

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is available if you:

  • Don’t qualify for EI
  • Are self-isolating or have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Are caring for family due to their illness or school closures.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

  • $2,000/month for 4 months
  • Application portal launches April 6
  • Work impacted from March 15 to October 3, 2020 qualifies
  • Monthly payments received as early as 10 days after applying.

OEBP & COVID-19 Diagnosis

Whether you are laid-off or are taking time off work because you contract COVID-19, you apply for and will collect CERB as above. If you are not laid-off and are away from work due to a COVID-19 diagnosis (or any other health reason), you must also contact the Plan office to request the appropriate disability forms at 604-291-8831 or 1-800- 486-3115 or by email at iuoe@iuoe115.ca. If the forms are not filed within 30 days of leaving work for health reasons (date of disability), you risk your disability claim being denied. See the OEBP for full details.

Worksafe BC

If you contracted COVID-19 at work, you may also be able to make a claim through Worksafe BC. Call 1-888-967-5377 for more information.

Supporting Your Mental Health

  • Members can access 12, one-hour sessions with mental health or financial management professionals through your Employee and Family Member Benefits from Homewood Health. Contact 1-800-663-1142 or homewoodhealth.com.
  • For the duration of the pandemic, your family can access up to $2,000 in psychologist, counselling and psychiatric support through Pacific Blue Cross. Submit receipts as normal.

Easing Cashflow Challenges

  • Income tax filing deadline extended to June 1
  • Deadline to make income tax payments extended until September 1
  • Impacted Community Savings members are eligible for loan deferrals
  • Many banks will allow you to defer mortgage payments by up to six months
  • New BC Emergency Benefit of $1,000 tax free for people whose employment is impacted
  • BC Climate Change Tax Credit will be raised to up to $218 per adult and $64 per child, payable in July
  • BC Hydro bills may be deferred up to six months
  • Student loan payments are deferred until September 30, 2020
  • ICBC monthly payments may be deferred up to 90 days without penalty. Visit icbc.com or call 604-661-2723 or 1-800-665-6442. Note driver’s license and auto insurance renewals can now be done online or by phone.
  • BC has placed a moratorium on evictions and mandated a rent freeze until the provincial State of Emergency has been lifted.
  • Seniors looking for someone to help with errands like grocery shopping can now call 211 to get matched with a volunteer in their area. Want to volunteer? Call 211 or visit BC211.ca.

Please Note: This information will be updated as new details become available.

QUESTIONS?

iuoe@iuoe115.ca          ph. 604-291-8831      Toll-free 1-888-486-3115

Download a PDF version of the infographic here

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March 24 PM

COVID-19 Additional Supports Information for Members

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has altered life for many members. Below are some supports IUOE Local 115, governments and others have put in place to support you. For information relating to work impacts, please see our Employment bulletin.

Supporting your mental health

  • You can access 12, one-hour sessions with mental health or financial management professionals through Employee and Family Member Benefits from Homewood Health. Contact 1-800-663-1142 or homewoodhealth.com
  • For the duration of the pandemic, your family can access $2,000 in psychologist, counselling and psychiatric support through Pacific Blue Cross. Submit receipts as normal.

Easing cashflow challenges

  • Income tax filing deadline extended to June 1
  • Deadline to make income tax payments extended until September 1
  • Impacted Community Savings members are eligible for loan deferrals
  • Many banks will allow you to defer mortgage payments by up to six months
  • New BC Emergency Benefit of $1,000 tax free for people whose employment is impacted
  • BC Climate Change Tax Credit will be raised to up to $218 per adult and $64 per child, payable in July
  • BC Hydro bills may be deferred up to six months
  • Student loan payments are deferred until September 30, 2020
  • ICBC monthly payments may be deferred up to 90 days without penalty. Visit icbc.com or call 604-661-2723 or 1-800-665-6442. Note driver’s license and auto insurance renewals can now be done online or by phone.
  • The federal government will be making funds available for people who need to borrow money to pay bills. Details to come.

QUESTIONS?

iuoe@iuoe115.ca          ph. 604-291-8831      Toll-free 1-888-486-3115

Download a PDF version of the infographic here

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March 23

Existing and New Highway Construction to continue in BC

As we manage through the COVID -19 crisis, we need to keep our members working in an environment where it is safe according to guidance from the government and health authorities.

The construction industry has many sectors, and today I made an inquiry to the Ministry of Labour regarding the government’s position as it relates to road building and other related infrastructure work.

This response from the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Labour clarifies the government will “continue to advance both existing and new highway construction and engineering within the province.”

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We need to keep our members safe, and we’ll continue to promote for safer workplaces as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Brian Cochrane, Business Manager IUOE Local 115

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March 23

COVID-19 Information for Members

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has impacted many members. Below are some supports IUOE Local 115, governments and others have put in place to support you.

Laid-off

Apply for EI as normal if you are laid-off for non-medical reasons

  • Need 700 hours work in past year
  • Record of Employment (ROE) required
  • Pays up to $573/week.

Don’t Qualify for EI

  • You can access the new Emergency Support Benefit
  • Applications details available in April.

Self-isolating due to COVID-19 exposure

  • You can access EI Sickness Benefits for your 14-day isolation
  • 1-833-381-2725 to have the one-week waiting period waived
  • No sickness note required
  • Can apply after quarantine & benefits will be backdated.

Diagnosed with COVID but still employed

Still employed but can’t work due to COVID-19?

EI Sickness Benefits

There is no need to use your short-term disability benefit through the Operating Engineers Benefit Plan. The federal government provides no-wait EI Sickness Benefits for up to 15 weeks.

  • After completing the online form, call 1-833-381-2725 to have the one-week waiting period waived
  • No sick note required
  • Have SIN #, first & last day worked, pay stub with highest 2-week pay from the last year
  • Have a blank cheque or online account handy for info to apply for direct deposit
  • Pay temporarily raised to $450/week.

Worksafe BC

If you contracted COVID-19 at work, you may be able to make a claim through Worksafe BC. Call 1-888-967-5377 for more information.

Caring for Family & Can’t Work

If you are not laid-off but need time off to care for sick family or children during school closures you access the Emergency Care Benefit.

  • $450/week for up to 15 weeks
  • Application details available in April.

Supporting Your Mental Health

  • You can access 12, one-hour sessions with mental health or financial management professionals through Employee and Family Member Benefits from Homewood Health. Contact 1-800-663-1142 or homewoodhealth.com.
  • For the duration of the pandemic, your family can access $2,000 in psychologist, counselling and psychiatric support through Pacific Blue Cross. Submit receipts as normal.

Easing Cashflow Challenges
To reduce financial challenges during this time, the federal government has put measures in place you may find helpful.

  • Income tax filing deadline extended to June 1
  • Deadline to make income tax payments extended until September 1
  • Impacted Community Savings members are eligible for loan deferrals
  • Many banks will allow you to defer mortgage payments by up to six months
  • New BC Emergency Benefit of $1,000 tax free for people whose employment is impacted
  • BC Climate Change Tax Credit will be raised to up to $218 per adult and $64 per child, payable in July
  • BC Hydro bills may be deferred up to six months
  • Student loan payments are deferred until September 30, 2020
  • ICBC monthly payments may be deferred up to 90 days without penalty. Visit icbc.com or call 604-661-2723 or 1-800-665-6442. Note driver’s license and auto insurance renewals can now be done online or by phone
  • The federal government will be making funds available for people who need to borrow money to pay bills. Details to come

Please Note: This information will be updated as new details become available.

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March 19

Covidlanding

Community Savings Credit Union is extending a new line of credit offer due to COVID

With many British Columbians experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Savings Credit Union is extending a line of credit offer to everyone, including those currently out of work.

Community Savings Credit Union would like to remind their existing customers who have loans with them; that they have the right to defer loan repayments and request fees to be waived during these circumstances.

For more Information, visit Community Savings Credit Union.

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March 18

Ensuring Uninterrupted Pensions and Benefits

We want to assure you that IUOE Local 115 has taken steps to ensure that payments to members who are retired or receiving benefits remain uninterrupted.

Reliable Investments for Your Future

As always, the Operating Engineers Pension Plan is concentrated in reliable investments to insulate it from potential fluctuations in equity markets. In fact, the pension plan has less than 6% of the fund invested in the stock market, with the bulk of assets invested in long bonds, infrastructure and real estate. Please be assured your pension fund is managed with your long-term security in mind. At this time, the pension plan is 115% funded.

Serving Members by Email, Phone and Mail

We are closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and are following the recommendations of public health officials to support the continued health of our members, staff and communities. Based on those recommendations, we have closed our offices to members and the public and will support you by:

  • Phone – Lower Mainland: 604-291-8831 or Toll-fee: 1-888-486-3115.
  • Email – info@iuoe115.ca
  • Mail – IUOE Local 115, 4333 Ledger Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. V5G 3T3

Staying Healthy

We care about your health. Some key actions you can take to protect yourself from COVID-19 include:

  • Frequently washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds or more
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Social distancing – stay home whenever possible and avoid contact with others.

Updates

If you have not already done so, we encourage you to go to add your name to our email list to receive updates and to see how IUOE Local 115 is supporting our members and communities at this time.

Brian Cochrane, Chair On behalf of Trustees Operating Engineers Pension and Benefit Plans Trustees

We want to assure you that IUOE Local 115 has taken steps during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that payments to members who are retired or receiving benefits remain uninterrupted.

The Operating Engineers Pension Plan has less than 6% of the fund invested in the stock market, with the bulk of assets invested in long bonds, infrastructure and real estate.

Please be assured your pension fund is managed with your long-term security in mind. At this time, the plan is 115% funded.

For more information continue to visit our web page “How IUOE Local 115 is Supporting Members” for our latest updates.


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March 15

A Message from IUOE Local 115 Business Manager, Brian Cochrane 

During this unprecedented and evolving situation, one thing that will not change is that IUOE Local 115 will continue to act in our members’ interests and work to support you during this pandemic.

In keeping with public health officials’ recommendation of social distancing, we are working to provide all member services online or via phone. As a result all Local 115 offices are closed to members and the public until further notice. Please contact your regional office on the following numbers …

Head Office and District 1 (Lower Mainland): 604-291-8831

District 2 (Vancouver Island): 250-754-4022

District 3 (Thompson Okanagan):  250-554-2278

Districts 4 and 5 (Cariboo/Central Interior/Pacific Northwest and Peace River/Yukon Territory): 250-563-3669

District 6 (Kootenays): 250-425-2161

For pension and benefit inquiries please contact: 604-291-8831 or toll-free at 1-888-486-3115.

We continue to monitor this situation daily and are adjusting some of our normal modes of operations to best support the continued health of members, staff and our communities. Please visit this site frequently for the latest updates. To have the most current information emailed to you directly, add your name to our “Stay in Touch” button for IUOE Local 115 updates.

Brian Cochrane, Business Manager IUOE Local 115

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