EI and the 2012 Federal Budget
To execute its 2012 Budget, the federal Government introduced Bills C-38 and C-45 which include major changes to Employment Insurance – with negative impacts for workers across Canada.
TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS:
WHEREAS the government has chosen to drive a cheap labour agenda with new lower wage standards for Canada’s unemployed and migrant workers, failing to put quality jobs first and undermining the wages of all workers;
WHEREAS the new EI rules as introduced in Bill C38 divide workers into 3 classes of unemployed; includes since January 2013 new rules around what constitutes suitable employment; eliminates worker representatives and basic principles of fairness in the EI appeal process; reduces EI benefits for lower paid workers who accept employment while on benefit; raise the trigger for high unemployment regions from 8% to 13%; and other changes detrimental to workers and their communities;
WHEREAS EI has been weakened to the point where fewer than half of the unemployed receive EI at any given time because fewer workers qualify and benefit weeks are reduced. Yet a healthy EI system is the most powerful of all economic stabilizers, reducing the shock of job and GDP losses during downturns
WHEREAS Ottawa stopped contributing to EI in 1990 but siphoned off $55 Billion of a $57 Billion surplus in workplace premiums accumulated by 2009, rather than improve benefits;
WE URGENTLY PETITION PARLIAMENT TO INTRODUCE THESE CHANGES TO EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. We fund EI and we expect it to be there when we need it.
1. Rescind all Bill C-38 measures related to Employment Insurance.
2. Rescind Temporary Foreign Worker 5-15% wage variances and 10 day fast tracking.
3. Improve EI benefits:
• Increase access by reducing qualifying hours to 360 hours in all regions of Canada.
• Increase duration to at least 50 weeks in all regions and provide an extra year Special Extension when national unemployment exceeds 6.5%, paid from federal general revenues. Provide EI income benefits so long as a worker is in approved training.
• Increase benefits to at least 60% of earnings using workers’ 12 best weeks and raise the maximum benefit. Eliminate the allocation of severance pay and 2-week waiting period.
The Scrap the Changes to the Employment Insurance System petition to Stephen Harper Prime Minister of canada was written by NL Federation of labour and is in the category Employment at GoPetition.