DriveTest Shut Down - Union FAQ

Written by USW 9511 Admin on Sunday March 22, 2020

Now that we have gotten to this stage, there is obviously plenty of questions!  We cannot respond to the volume individually at the moment, but hopefully this will cover a lot of things you want to know right now.


How do I apply for EI Benefits?

Everyone should be filling out an application on the Service Canada website.  Here are the link to the overview of the process, the required information needed for you application, and the application starting point.  Your Record of Employment will likely be coded with "Shortage of Work."  There is no "group" or "reference" code that we are aware of.

Will the normal one week waiting period be waived?

This is unclear at this time.  The federal government has not finalized changes to the EI program in this unprecedented situation yet.  You should be applying regardless of what benefit coverage you may end up getting.

What If I am not eligible for regular EI Benefits?

The federal government has introduced new benefits to deal with this unprecedented situation, however, the details are still emerging.  Members should still be applying for benefits now so their account is set up, and then following up once the details become available.  The programs are expected to be in place by early April.

How do I get my Record of Employment (ROE)?

Serco submits ROEs directly to Service Canada electronically.  If you would like an electronic or mailed copy, please reach out to them starting March 30, 2020.  They will be processing 800+ ROEs this week, and will likely not be responding to any requests until then anyways.

Do I need to go into the office?

No.  Your supervisor should have already reached out to you this evening.  If you have not heard from them, you still do not need to go in tomorrow, but should call them at some point to make sure your contact information is up to date.  If you need something you left at the office, arrange to get it ASAP.  The supervisors may not be working many more days either.

Other companies are paying their employees, why is Serco not?

Serco has stated with this shut down, their revenues have stopped completely.  We do have a clause in the Collective Agreement that would see members compensated if the company was compensated, so we will be investigating any agreement between the MTO and Serco.

Will there be financial support from USW?

This has not been explored, but the numbers are astronomical.  $200 for each member is over $160K, and would deplete our local union funds fairly quickly.  We will need to look into this further with the other levels of USW.

Who should I thank for getting us to this stage?

This was an effort by so many people.  There were countless members who were going above and beyond to fight for their families, their communities, and each other.  Thank the members who refused work they felt was unsafe.  Thank the members who reached out to their elected officials.  Thank the members who fielded questions from their peers.  Thank the members who spread the word about the text messaging system (keep doing this btw).  Thank the members who made suggestions at all stages of this fight.  A union's strength is in the members, and you have shown we can rise up when we need to.  You are the union.  You did this.  We want to send a sincere thank you to all of you who reached out at any point in the past couple of weeks.  The perspectives and stories really allowed us to put a human element on the challenges we were facing when we presented these things to people who needed to hear them.

How much toilet paper do I need?

After the past two weeks, this better get a laugh, or at least a groan.

Send along more questions (tomorrow, lol).  At this point, spend some time with your family, enjoy the slower pace, and just breathe.  We have more challenges ahead in the coming weeks, but for now, take a little break.