Notice from Service Canada

If anyone receives a letter from Service Canada regarding the 4% bonus and/or Notice of debt, please contact Benefits so we can add you to the list. We originally got direction from Service Canada that the 4% bonus was not going to affect EI. That was overruled by someone higher up at Service Canada and deemed as an event bonus that is allocated to the week that bonus was paid (Nov 13-19 week). As a result, they are issuing letters and notices of debt to pay back that week of EI, that you received. We are working on an appeal for a request for reconsideration because we do not agree with that decision. This process will take time, but we are appealing it.

Rob Gallace, Stephan Cronin, Jeff Bankes

To all Members

The layoffs have been a very frustrating experience.  We had close to 30 members with all kinds of issues regarding their claims.  We have made significant gains in the past week and money is now flowing to most of these members, with hopefully 100% fixed by next week.

We spent a long time working on the bonus issue (mentioned above) prior to the payout.  We went high up the ladder at EI and Service Canada to ensure the bonus would have no negative effects on our members.  We were told all was good.  Now, that decision has been questioned internally at Service Canada and we are having members receive letters.  This is just another frustrating issue that we are dealing with.  We spent a long time in many meetings with Service Canada to ensure the bonus was not an issue.  Now, months later, we learn that we must appeal the decision that was already done.

On top of all this, the members at Service Canada and EI are on strike.  That is not helping us.  I drove to a Service Canada office yesterday in Brantford to help one of our members but we ran right into a brick wall.  “Karen” was not helpful and was just looking for a fight.  We have members who have gone weeks with no money and “Karen” refused to help us at all, she just kept pointing out that she doesn’t have to do anything right now.  Our member has gone weeks with no money with small kids to feed and bills to pay.  I am glad to report that this member had a major breakthrough late  yesterday and money will now be coming.

We have 3 benefit reps, we have 1200 members currently laid off.  They are working the claims, we are making headway and hopefully by next week everyone will have money flowing.  We again need time to appeal the bonus issue.  There are a couple reps at National who have been extremely good at helping us out and unrelenting with GM and Service Canada.  We appreciate the help!

Please remember we have two reps at the hall right now and one in the plant.  There is usually a line up or they are on the phone, but we are getting through this.  What we really need are enough parts to run more production and get everyone back to work – that is what GM can do the most to help this out.

Mike Van Boekel