Resources for Locals
Updated: August 21st, 2020
COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR LOCAL OFFICERS:
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Employment Carla Qualtrough held a press conference to announce changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) system and the future of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The following is the Canada Council's summary of the announcements.
- The CERB will be extended for an additional four weeks, for a total claim of 28 weeks.
- When the CERB comes to an end, those eligible will transition to EI, while those ineligible will be able to access new benefits: Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.
- The new benefits described below will come into effect following legislation to be introduced when Parliament returns in September.
- The new benefits and EI reform announced today will be for one year.
- Minister Qualtrough has also been tasked with identifying gaps and issues in the present EI system to bring forward changes in the longer term.
- In response to a question about universal basic income, Minister Qualtrough explained their position that the proposed targeted approach (new benefits) ensures that funds go to those who actually need it.
- The national employment rate of 13.1% has been standardized to ensure access to EI benefits across the country.
- Changes to EI are for a one-year period, and will come into effect September 27.
- A one-time top-up of insurable hours will enable more people to access EI.
- Those seeking regular EI benefits for job loss can receive a 300-hour top-up.
- Generally, this means that Canadian workers only require 120 hours of work to access EI benefits.
- Those seeking special benefits (i.e., maternity, parental, sickness) can receive a 480-hour top-up. The top-up for maternity/parental leave or other family assistance benefits will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.
- As of September 27, EI premiums will be frozen for two years (at the lowest level since 1980):
- Employers: $2.21 of every $100 of insurable salary
- Workers: $1.58 of every $100 of insurable salary
- Minimum EI benefit will be $400/week, ensuring that no one claiming EI receives less than those receiving other benefits. This is equal to the current CERB amount.
- New benefits were announced for those who are not eligible for EI (e.g., self-employed, gig workers):
- Canada Recovery Benefit: Self-employed and other workers not eligible for EI will receive $400/week, for up to 26 weeks over one year.
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit: Workers who must miss work to stay home to care for a child under the age of 12, a family member or dependent will receive $500/week, for up to 26 weeks over one year.
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit: Those unable to work due to illness or self-isolation can receive $500/week, for two one-week periods over the year.
- Both the new benefits and EI will allow the opportunity to work while claiming the benefits, as well as access to training and work incentives.
For more information, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2020/08/government-of-canada-announces-plan-to-help-support-canadians-through-the-next-phase-of-the-recovery.html
The Canadian Federation of Musicians has joined over 75,000 arts workers in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling on the government to implement a BASIC INCOME FOR THE ARTS. Read the full letter: HERE
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was opened on April 27, 2020. For organizations wishing to participate, please visit the CEWS Eligibility website to confirm your eligibility and calculate your subsidy amount.
*Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on June 16th, 2020 that the CERB will be extended by 8 weeks. Please see the article in the link for more information: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cerb-extended-trudeau-1.5613782
The CFM has encouraged all members to write to their elected officials in support of an extention of the CERB. Please see the full letter the CFM has sent to Ministers and MPs across Canada: https://cfmusicians.afm.org/news/coalition-to-extend-the-cerb and click HERE for an easy-to-use template: https://www.caea.com/Take-Action-on-CERB-Support
Sign the petition by the Directors' Guild of Canada to extend the CERB: https://www.change.org/p/justin-trudeau-extend-covid-19-emergency-benefits-prolonger-les-prestations-d-urgence-pour-la-covid-19
The AFM has signed a joint letter to the US government from performing arts organizations requesting an extension to artists' visas. To read the full letter and list of recommendations, click: HERE
AFM International President has issued a statement regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, for full text click: HERE
The Section 21 Health and Safety Advisory Committee for Film and Television has created a document to provide guidance to employers/producers, supervisors and working professionals on identifying and mitigating potential workplace risks related to the COVID-19. Read the full document: HERE
GMMQ Local 406 was in consultation in the creation of a Toolkit for the Performing Arts Sector for Re-Opening during Covid-19. For Performance Halls and Movie Theatres click: HERE // For the Audiovisual Sector, click: HERE
Our SAVE LIVE ARTS / SAUVER LES ARTS VIVANTS campaign continues to petition the government for comprehensive aid and support for musicians and the “live arts” industry. Please follow the link: HERE for more information.
Black Lives Matter: The CFM participated in the #TheShowMustBePaused Music Industry Blackout Tuesday, and will continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement in whatever ways are possible. If you would like a list of anti-racist resources to read or share with your staff, members, colleagues, family, click: HERE. For a statement of support for Black Lives Matter from AFM International President Ray Hair, click: HERE.
MPTF Music Family Scholarship: The Music Performance Trust Fund is now offering scholarships of up to $100,000 to children of AFM members (in US & Canada), click: HERE for more info.
International Representatives are the first line of help and assistance for Local Officers in all matters pertaining to day to day operations and governance issues in running a Local.
International Representatives assist Local Officers with onsite training, preparation of operating plans, budgeting, and compliance issues with respect to the AFM Bylaws and DOL regulations. International Reps also answer questions regarding Local bylaws, mergers, membership rosters, newsletters, general membership meetings, and elections. In Local matters which require assistance from other AFM and CFM departments, the International Representative will refer the Local Officer to the correct department to ensure that the assistance needed is offered.
International Representatives are each assigned a geographic territory of individual Locals with whom they maintain regular contact. Local Officers will maintain contact information for their Local’s International Representative and can request assistance when needed. Currently there are four International Representatives serving in the United States and one serving in Canada. The International Representatives make up the Field Services Division of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. Their activities are coordinated through the office of the AFM Chief Operating Officer, who is based in the New York AFM office.