days until our Collective Agreement expires, we are preparing, we are united and we will make change.

Mitigation – Special Leave of Absence – CERB Applicable

Your Union is extremely pleased to advise you that we have received the following information, in writing, from Employment and Social Development Canada.

We specifically asked them why Air Canada was advising our members that CERB was not available for those who opted for the Special Leave of Absence through the mitigation programs. We felt that this was not doing enough and wanted to go direct to the source and ask them what could be done to fix this.

We are pleased to tell you that they responded in our favour and said:  “In response to your specific question on the CERB, a worker who agrees with their employer to take unpaid leave in lieu of being laid off for reasons related to COVID-19 is not considered to have quit their job voluntarily, and is eligible to claim the CERB if they meet the other eligibility criteria listed above.”

Please note the criterias are:

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular or fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily.”

In addition they mention:

When submitting their first claim, a worker cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of their claim.  When submitting subsequent claims, the worker cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of their new claim.

Again, this is a huge move forward for many of you, and a game changer for all, we are happy to have secured this for you. There is now a mitigation option that allows members to take an SPLOA and receive an income for up to sixteen weeks. We hope that this results in the saving of even more jobs.

In solidarity,