Category Archives: Fix Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) Campaign

Here’s a new one-page PDF poster: “Changes to Employment Insurance

And a new 2-page report from the CLC: “The Cost of Falling EI Coverage

Click for the the Good Jobs For All “Fix Employment Insurance” resources:
Scrap the EI Changes’ petition
‘Take Action on EI’ flyer
EI Presentation (Prezi)


BUILDING A MOVEMENT AGAINST EI CUTS

The Good Jobs for All Coalition launched its campaign against the EI cuts at a packed forum on June 20th. For everyone who came out to the event, it became obvious that people in greater Toronto need to start fighting to defend what is left of this vital social safety net. Only 1 in 5 unemployed Torontonians received Employment Insurance (EI) benefits at any given time last year and the recent changes by the Conservative government will only make matters worse.

The new EI rules require 75% of EI claimants to accept work at a 20-30% pay cut, in a job outside their current profession, after just six weeks of job search. “Those changes will further erode our confidence in the safety net long considered one of the keystones of Canadian democracy” explained Tam Goossen, co-chair of the Good Jobs for All coalition and moderator of the forum.

The evening began with a panel of speakers from Toronto, Quebec and New Brunswick, including Kenny Hoosein, Steelworkers Job Action Centre, Armine Yalnizyan, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Patrick Rondeau, Conseiller regional Federation des travailleurs et des travailleuses and Daniel Legere, New Brunswick Scrap the Changes Resource Committee. Kenny spoke passionately of the experience of unemployed workers, while Armine provided a broad analysis and historical perspective of EI. Patrick and Daniel shared their experiences in organizing huge rallies in their communities, and called on Torontonians to build mass support to restore EI for all jobless workers.

Following the panel the audience of community and union members spoke of their experiences with EI and the need to Stop the Changes and Fix EI, so all unemployed workers have access to an insurance that they pay into – an insurance to take them through the challenging times between jobs.
Stay tuned on how you can become a part of this important campaign to build a movement against the EI cuts. For more information please take a look at “The Cost of Falling EI Coverage” and “Fix Employment Insurance.”

PDF version of Teachin-report

Join Us for a Special E.I. Teach-In!

Join Us for a Special E.I. Teach-In!

  • What’s driving low-wage work in Canada? How does it affect all of us? Are there alternatives?
  • What’s the impact of EI changes on the unemployed, younger workers and workers in precarious jobs? What’s their response?

Hear from guest speakers:

  • Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Special guests Patrick Rondeau, Conseiller régional Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses from Quebec and Daniel Legere, CUPE rep, New Brunswick Scrap the Changes Resource Committee
  • Workers impacted by the EI changes
  • Q & A to follow

Thursday, June 20, 2013
7 to 9 p.m.
Ryerson Student Centre (Tecumseh Auditorium)
55 Gould Street, Toronto (east of Yonge, north of Dundas E)
Dundas subway stop or municipal parking at Dundas & Victoria

PDF poster


Joignez-nous pour un atelier spécial sur l’assurance-emploi

  • Quel est le motif derrière le travail au rabais au Canada? Quel est l’effet sur nous tous? Y-a-til des alternatives?
  • Quel est l’impact des changements dans l’assurance-emploi sur les chô meurs, les jeunes et les tavailleurs précaires? Quelle est leur réponse?


Conférenciers invités

  • Armine Yalnizyan, economiste senior, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Des invités spéciaux de Quebec – Patrick Rondeau, Conseiller régional Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses et de Nouveau Brunswick – Daniel Legere, Nouveau Brunswick Comité Resource pour l’abandon des changements
  • Travailleurs et travailleuses affectées par les réformes de l’assurance-emploi
  • Questions et Réponses

Jeudi, 20 juin 2013
De 19:00 à 21:00
Ryerson Student Centre (Tecumseh Auditorium)
55 Gould Street, Toronto

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Solidarity Message from the Good Jobs for All Coalition

Scrap the EI Changes!

On behalf of the Good Jobs for All Coalition, representing more than 30 community and labour organizations in the Greater Toronto Area, we extend our solidarity to the thousands of demonstrators in Montreal, Edmundston and elsewhere who are protesting the Harper government’s assault on our hard-won Employment Insurance rights. We join with you in calling upon the government to “Scrap the EI Changes!”

This is not just an issue for Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. The devastation of the EI changes will be felt across Canada, in many sectors and in big cities as well as rural areas. They will add insult to injury since only 40% of unemployed workers are actually receiving EI benefits.

The most vulnerable workers will bear the brunt of these changes. This is part of a cheap labour agenda that is creeping like a cancer into the fabric of our society. The Harper government’s attack on working people is evident everywhere, from its new anti-union legislation to the green light it is giving to discriminatory wages for Temporary Foreign Workers. It is unjust. It is outrageous.

Your mobilizations are truly impressive and have inspired us to launch our own fight-back campaign and to take action to build public awareness.

We thank you for your unwavering commitment and look forward to joining you in future actions that convey a strong and united message… Scrap Harper’s EI Changes! Fix EI! The EI system belongs to workers. We have a right to decent access and benefits. In the name of social justice, fairness and democracy,

Tam Goossen and Carolyn Egan
Co-Chairs of the Good Jobs for All Coalition,
Greater Toronto Area

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Good Jobs for All Coalition Supports Protests Against EI Changes

‘Good Jobs for All Coalition’ Supports Protests Against EI Changes
April 25, 2013

(Toronto) This Saturday, April 27 thousands of workers and supporters are taking to the streets of Montreal to demand the Harper government withdraw its recent changes to Employment Insurance. Similarly, protesters in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia among others are calling on Ottawa to “Scrap the EI Changes.”

Inspired by these actions, the Toronto-based Good Jobs For All Coalition has announced the launch of its own campaign in the Greater Toronto area. “The impact of the EI changes will be felt right across Canada in many sectors and in big cities as well as rural areas. It’s not just an issue for Quebec and Atlantic provinces. These changes will be acutely felt here in the GTA too,” Coalition co-chair Tam Goossen said.

The Good Jobs Coalition which represents more than 30 community and labour organizations in the Greater Toronto Area has also sent a message of solidarity to the demonstrations in Montreal and Edmundston, New Brunswick. The Coalition identifies the attack on workers’ EI rights as “part of a cheap labour agenda creeping like a cancer into the fabric of our society” including the government’s new anti-union legislation and green light to lower wages for Temporary Foreign Workers.

The message ends with support for future actions “that convey a strong and united message to Scrap Harper’s EI Changes. And Fix EI.”

A petition on the Coalition’s website calls for:
• Better access to EI especially for those in precarious jobs. This would require an overhaul of the EI Hours system with a new qualifying minimum of 360 hours;
• Improved benefit rates;
• Extended benefit weeks to provide continued income benefits for workers in approved training programs, among others.

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For more information contact these Good Jobs For All Coalition representatives:
Judy Persad, organizer 416-441-3663 x 224
Winnie Ng Social Justice Chair, Ryerson University 647-291-3511
Laurell Ritchie, labour EI specialist 416-917-0047
For EI petition and backgrounders, please visit: goodjobsforall.ca/fix-employment-insurance