On September 25th, Employment Insurance will revert to its outdated and unfair rules, leaving thousands of people behind. While the government was committed to reform EI and has been holding a long series of consultations with the public and civil society for more than a year, it is instead returning to the status quo!
This is a major setback!
Representatives of the National Council of Unemployed Workers will be marching from Montreal to Ottawa, arriving in the federal capital on September 22nd, along with many social, labour, political and Indigenous allies. We want to meet with the Prime Minister for him to hear our demands.
THE NCUW DEMANDS
- We call for an extension of the temporary measures until the necessary EI reform is implemented, including the expansion of the program to self-employed and gig workers.
It is unacceptable to return to the status quo as of September 25th, to the failed program we have known since the 1990s, with severely reduced eligibility, unfair rules and the exclusion of thousands of workers. We need EI reform, with expanded coverage and improved protections.
- We ask that the enhanced EI sickness benefits (from 15 to 26 weeks) take effect immediately.
The 2021 and 2022 federal budgets indicated that EI sickness benefits would be extended from 15 to 26 weeks in the summer of 2022. The government has always implied that the extension would come into effect in August 2022 and there is still nothing on the horizon. Over the years, several political parties and civil society representatives, including the NCUW, have called for an extension of sickness benefits, deeming the 15-week cap to be far too low.
- We consider that the administrative delays experienced by EI claimants are unacceptable and we ask that they be resolved as soon as possible.
Citizens are currently experiencing major delays, often waiting several months for their file to be processed.