COVID-19 Info & Resources for Members

LOCAL 170 OFFICES

Our offices are CLOSED to walk-ins however you can access all services by phone or by email.

LOCAL 170 GENERAL OFFICE & METAL TRADES
tel. 604-526-0441
email: info@ualocal170.com

LOCAL 170 DISPATCH
tel. 604-527-3220
email: dispatch@ualocal170.com

LOCAL 170 HEALTH & WELFARE
tel: 604-526-3434
web: plumbers.bc.ca

UAPICBC
tel: 604-540-1945
email: registrar@ualocal170.com

MEMBER ASSISTANCE LINE
If you are a member who needs any assistance (pick up of groceries, medications, a ride to a physician or just to hear a friendly voice) call our
Member Assistance Line (778) 658-0819 or
email info@ualocal170.com

COVID-19 HEALTH INFORMATION

COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool

The BC Ministry of Health has developed a self-assessment tool to determine if you might need further assessment or testing. Link to Self Assessment Tool

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 please call 811

Prevention

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – if soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
Avoid touching your hand and face
Avoid close contact with others – social distancing –
Stay home if you are sick

New COVID-19 Hotline 1-888-COVID19

The Province of BC has created a new COVID-19 information hotline which is dedicated to non-medical questions about EI such as travel recommendations social distancing, support and assistance from government agencies.    1-888-268-4139 (7:30 am to 8:00 pm).  You can also text a new help line for assistance 604-630-0300.

For ADDITIONAL HEALTH INFORMATION & RESOURCES click here

HEALTH & SAFETY OF OUR MEMBERS ON THE JOBSITE

Guidance to Construction Sites Operating During COVID-19 (click here)

WorkSafe BC occupational health and safety regulations require workplaces to have either fixed or portable washroom facilities that include provisions for hand-washing, and that these must be kept in clean and sanitary condition. Similar provisions apply to where workers consume food (lunchrooms). You have the right in B.C. to refuse unsafe work if you believe these conditions are not being met and present an undue hazard.

If you are being asked to work unsafely:
1. Email the BC Building Trades at info@bcbuildingtrades.org and they will compile information to advocate on behalf of Local 170 members AND
2. Call WorkSafe BC to at 604-276-3100 (Lower Mainland) or 1-888-621-7233 (toll free).

Are you allowed to refuse work if you are worried about COVID-19 at the workplace?

Under BC’s Occupational Health and Safety laws, you can refuse unsafe work if you have reasonable cause to believe that performing the work will cause undue harm to your health and safety, or that of another person (Occupational Health and Safety Regulation Part 3).  You should report any unsafe condition to your employer and the employer is obligated to investigate and address the situation.  The employer must take all reasonable preventative measures to protect workers from work-related hazards, including any infectious disease that may be found in the workplace which may pose a risk to workers.   If an issue arises, please contact your Local 170 representative.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for our members on the jobsite

For ADDITIONAL SAFETY INFORMATION click here

ADDRESS TO UA MEMBERSHIP FROM UA INTERNATIONAL

UA General President – April 8 2020

UA General President – March 26 2020

UA General President – March 19, 2020

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit for COVID-19 Illness or Quarantine

If you qualify for EI Sickness Benefit and are unable to work due to illness or quarantine, the federal government has made changes in response to COVID-19.

Waiving of the one week waiting period & waiving of the requirement to provide a medical certificate

Under normal circumstances, if a worker qualifies for EI Sickness benefits, they have a one week waiting period (unpaid) before their payments begin.  The federal government has waived the waiting period for people who are quarantined due to COVID-19.  This gives eligible employees the ability to receive EI benefits from the entire 14-day quarantine period.

You qualify for EI Sickness benefits for COVID-19 if you:
●    are employed and pay EI premiums
●    have lost at least 40% of your usual weekly pay
●    have worked a minimum of 600 hours in the year before the claim or since your last claim, and
●    cannot work due to COVID-19 illness or quarantine imposed by law or by a public health official, or your employer asks you to self-isolate when public health officials recommend it

Contact the dedicated toll-free number for questions about the waiving of the one week waiting period for EI. 1-833-381-2725. Visit the Employment and Social Development Website for info and to apply.

Canada Employment Response Benefit (CERB)

Who is covered by CERB?
The benefit covers employees, contract workers and self-employed individuals who do not have access to paid leave or other income support and who

  • have lost their job due to COVID-19
  • are sick and quarantined
  • must stay home without pay to care for children
  • have not been officially laid off but have no income due to COVID slowdown

How much is the benefit?
$2,000 per month for the next 4 months backdated to March 15

How do I apply?
Application portal will be available on April 6. if you have already applied for EI sickness benefits or regular benefits you do not need to re-apply.

Three ways to apply for the CERB:
1.  CRA MyAccount secure online portal
2.  My Service Canada Account online
3.  Calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process (not yet available)     

If you don’t have a CRA MyAccount or a My Service Canada Account, you should go to canada.ca/my-cra-account and set up a My CRA account so that you can access the portal when it is available. This process takes a few days so best to start on it right away. Here’s a great video showing how it’s done. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW_1xRux6bw#action=share

When will payments start?
First payments to come within 10 days of your application
Payment every four weeks from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan

Members who are in receipt of EI Regular or Sick benefits may be entitled to benefits from the Local 170 Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan. In response to COVID-19, the Trustees approved an increase to the SUB plan weekly benefit to $125 per week (previously $100 per week) for benefit periods ending between April 1, 2020 and March 26, 2020.
Currently those in receipt of the new CERB benefit do not qualify for the SUB top up. We are lobbying government to amend legislation so that we are able to pay out SUB benefits on CERB payments. Letter to Minister Carla Qualtrough regarding SUB & CERB. We will keep the membership posted on any new information on this front. For more information on the SUB Plan and to see if you qualify please visit our Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan page.

CONFUSING? HERE IS A CHEAT SHEET OF WAGE SUPPORTS AVAILABLE

One Time Special GST Credit Payment effectively doubling the maximum annual GST for the 2019/2020 benefit year (implemented by early May 2020).

Increase to the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts by $300 per child for the 2019/2020 benefit year (implemented by early May 2020).

Community Savings Credit UnionLine of Credit

Community Savings Credit Union is offering a special Line of Credit for workers facing financial hardship due to the COVI-19 outbreak.  They are offering members who have been laid off or who are facing reduced hours, access to an interest free line of credit (for six months).  This is available to current and new members of Community Savings Credit Union and the application process can be done online.   This would offer some financial relief to members who need financial support during the difficult weeks ahead.  For more information please call 604-654-2000 or toll free 1-888-653-2000.   For more information visit their website

Mortgage Payment Deferrals

Canada’s major banks (RBC, BMO, National Bank, Scotiabank, TD & CIBC) announced today that they are allowing mortgage payment deferrals for up to six months for to help individuals who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.  Please contact your bank for further details.

OTHER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT & MEASURES

Personal income tax filing deadline extended to June 1

Ability to defer any taxes owing until August 31 for any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This applies to tax balances due, as well as instalments, No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 

Pausing payments and interest accumulation on Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying student loans. This will take effect March 30 and will last until September 30.

PROVINCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • $1,000 Emergency Benefit for Workers who have been laid off, those who are sick or quarantined and those who’ve had to stay home to care for their children or sick family members – this is available for BC residents who receive Employment Insurance or those who are receiving the federal Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit. 
  • A six-month freeze on student loan payments
  • Postponed tax increases that were scheduled for April 1.
  • An increase in the B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit for July 2020

For MORE INFO ON OTHER FINANCIAL SUPPORTS click here