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JUNE 23, 2016

Important EI Matters for Teachers

Change to Insurable Hours Threshold

The number of insurable hours required for new entrants/re-entrants to the labour force to qualify for benefits is changing. At present, new entrants and re-entrants to the labour market must accumulate at least 910 hours of insurable employment before being eligible for EI regular benefits. For claims with an effective date of July 3 and onward, however, new entrants and re-entrants will have to meet the same eligibility requirements as other claimants in the region where they live (665 insurable hours in the St. John’s region; map: http://srv129.services.gc.ca/eiregions/eng/stjohns.aspx and 420 insurable hours elsewhere in the province) instead of the higher standard. Teachers are encouraged to apply at an optimal time to ensure that their claim for benefits succeeds.

Employment Insurance Service Quality Review
Teachers should be aware that the federal government has launched an Employment Insurance Service Quality Review, a nationwide consultation process with key stakeholders and the public to seek their input on ways to improve services to Employment Insurance (EI) claimants. The review will examine how Service Canada administers the EI program so that resources are focused on providing the best possible service to Canadians, with a focus on three key areas:

1.  streamlining applications
2.  reducing wait times for service delivery
3. reducing administrative burden for employers

This is your opportunity to share your views with the Government on the administration of the EI program. This consultation will be open from May to August 2016. A summary report of feedback received through these consultations will be released in the fall of 2016.

Ways to participate include:
- Share your views online (online consultation open until August 31, 2016)
– Send your comments by email to: consultation@servicecanada.gc.ca
– Attend a town hall meeting (dates and locations will be announced in the coming weeks)

Your Association will be making submissions in support of the reinstatement of local liaison officers as contacts for worker representatives, the stabilization of the Service Canada workforce with full-time permanent hires, and a greater focus on the education of young workers regarding their right to collect employment insurance when out of work. Teachers are encouraged to contact Miriam Sheppard, Administrative Officer, NLTA (msheppard@nlta.nl.ca) to share their views. Teachers are also encouraged to participate individually in the consultation process.