Canadian Emergency Response Benefit – Information

Hi Everyone,

Below is information about the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit from our CUPE representative.

In Solidarity,

Hi everyone,

CUPE Research has drafted an overview on the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Please see below to pass along to members. This may be an ideal option for members who do not have many shifts and/or auxiliary members. The application portal will be ready on Monday April 6.

Note: It is important that Employers indicate ‘shortage of work’ on ROEs

Overview of the CERB:

This income support is designed for individuals who have lost their income because of COVID-19 and also for those can’t work due to illness, quarantine, need to take care of others that are ill, or child care responsibility. How the government describes this:

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is available to those who stop working for reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits. Examples of stopping to work could include but are not limited to:

  • You have been let go from your job or your hours have been reduced to zero;
  • You are in quarantine or sick due to COVID-19;
  • You are away from work to take care of others because they are in quarantine, sick due to COVID-19; and/or
  • You are away from work to take care of children or other dependents whose care facility is closed due to COVID-19.

The CERB will pay out $2,000 per month for up to four months, backdated to March 15. The benefit is available March 15 to October 3, 2020. The benefit will not be taxed at source but will have to be reported on your 2020 taxes. There is no waiting period, if you sign up for direct deposit you should receive payment in 3-5 days, and if you opt for a cheque you should receive payment in 10 days.
For the initial four-week period you will have to prove you had no employment income for at least 14 consecutive days, moving forward you will have to have zero employment income for the full four-weeks. You have to re-apply for every four-week period.
If employees are applying for the CERB due to illness, quarantine, need to take care of other who are sick, or child care responsibility (a circumstance where they may want to return to work before the pandemic ends, aka. don’t have child care and then later secure child care and want to return to work) they should first check their CA and determine what access they have to leaves, and/or pursue an unpaid leave but should retain their employment.

If employees are applying for this because they have lost work/have no work due to COVID-19 they do not need an ROE. So if they are still employed but not working they are eligible. Individuals are also eligible if they have been laid off. (*note: it is my understanding Legal will have some further recommendations around considerations for recall periods.)

If members have already applied for EI, if they became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15th or onward, their claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. (and if members are EI eligible after the 16-weeks, they can return to EI.)

Updated Q&A from CUPE on the CERB here, info on CERB application here, info on Emergency Wage Subsidy here.

Jeanne Marr
Canadian Union of Public Employees

National Servicing Representative/Library Coordinator
British Columbia Regional Office
6222 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC  V5H 0G3

Cell: 250-572-2605

This communication and all attachments are intended only for the addressee and are confidential.  If you receive this communication in error, please notify me immediately and delete. Thank you.

April 1 Update

Send your concerns or questions to any member of the executive 

Denise Parks —
Eileen McMillan —
Raqiya M.Khan–
Jan Parker —
Sandra Cole —
Colin Epp —

Below is the information that was sent out by management today.

A new page is added to the system sub-site of surrey library citynet.

Title: Chief Librarian’s Message – April 1, 2020


Created By: Seline Kutan

Created Date: 2020-04-01 5:07:47 PM

News Content:

April 1 Message from Chief Librarian

Hi Everyone,

Since the temporary Workforce Adjustment Agreement was reached with the Union on March 25, we have been receiving many questions from you. I understand the stress and anxiety our staff are going through.

I want to reiterate that the layoffs are temporary. You are valued employees of Surrey Libraries and our goal is to have you back in your roles as soon as possible after this pandemic crisis has passed.

As we mentioned in earlier communications and in the Workforce Adjustment Agreement, some unionized staff will be retained to support online library services. Some are being retained because of their specialized skills and some because of their role and seniority. The following staff have accepted the offer to continue in their roles to support the following areas:

Cassidy FoxcroftGoogle IT Support Certificate Program
Tracy HetheringtonGraphic design, marketing, social media
Beth LarssenBackup for Google IT Support Certificate Program, social media, website, IS digital services
Shawn FeddesWebsite maintenance, Bibliocommons, social media
Eileen McMillanCollections Services work
Rajinder BainsCirculation work
Paulette HembroffCirculation work


We are still considering whether to retain other staff to assist with online programming and will communicate any decisions to that regard as soon as we have more information.

Please continue to work safely from home and stay connected with each other and your managers. We are all adapting to this global crisis and the disruption it has caused in our daily lives. It can be challenging to work from home.  You may find the article below helpful.

Please continue to send questions related to the Workforce Adjustment Agreement to Mandy Sangha, Manager of Human Resources: and we will make our best effort to respond as soon as we can.

Thank you,

Surinder Bhogal

Chief Librarian, Surrey Libraries

March 26 Update

Wow……what a day it has been.

This morning an email was sent from Surinder and the Library Board with the Workforce Adjustment Agreement. This agreement was created and negotiated by management and our Union to encompass all CUPE 402-02 members with short notice through conference calls and emails. The Wage protection timeline provisions were separated by status – Regular or Casual/Clerk, with a similar benefits timeline. We have a conference call scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Since the shut down on March 16, many of us have continued to do our work, either in branch or from home.

I am sorry that I did not have time to speak with any branch staff personally to check upon them. Like all staff, the Executive was relying on communication from management for direction, which seemed to change on a daily basis for most. We tried to ensure that members were aware of all current updates through regular email.

If there are problems at the different worksites, we depend on our Shop Stewards to bring those to our attention. We will continue to do our best to answer any questions that are sent in.

As this situation continues to evolve, we have all had to make changes and sacrifices in our lifestyle and day to day tasks. We still have many challenging days ahead of us. Please know that we are here working on your behalf. Continue to send us your questions and concerns.

I hope that everyone is doing their part to control the spread of this virus. Please stay home as much as you can until the Health Authorities let us know when things are safe out there.

Support one another through other means of communication – texts, emails, facetime and phone calls – when you can’t see your friends and family face to face.

Please be kind to each other
In Solidarity,
CUPE 402-02 Chair
Surrey Library Workers

Workforce Adjustment Agreement

Send your concerns or questions to any member of the executive 

Denise Parks —
Eileen McMillan —
Raqiya M.Khan–
Jan Parker —
Sandra Cole —
Colin Epp —

Below is the information that was sent out by management today.

As you all know, Surrey Libraries and CUPE 402-02 have worked together to develop a Workforce Adjustment Agreement in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
This Agreement will be in effect until such time the Library’s pandemic response has concluded.

I wanted to highlight a few provisions being provided:

  • All casual staff and circulation services clerks, (including those in temporary positions) will be paid for shifts scheduled within 28 calendar days (4 weeks) of the date of the Library shutdown, from March 16, 2020 up to and including April 12, 2020.
  • All regular full-time, regular part-time staff will be paid for shifts scheduled within 42 calendar days (6 weeks) of the date of the Library shutdown, from March 16, 2020 up to an including April 26, 2020. After this period, staff may use earned banks such as vacation, but not sick leave. If banks are not used, they will remain with the employee.
  • During this period of paid shifts, staff are to report to shifts that they are scheduled for.
  • Staff enrolled in the Library’s group Benefit plan who are laid off shall continue to receive their normal benefits (Extended Health Benefits/Dental/Life – LTD excluded) entitlements for 3 months after the end of the 28 or 42 day (plus used earned banks) protection period.  Employees shall pre-pay their portion of benefits premiums in order to continue to receive benefits. After 3 months expires, employees will have the option to maintain their benefits fully at their own cost.  I will send out follow up information shortly in regards to the premiums in follow up emails.

Our Payroll department is issuing Records of Employment (ROE) for staff, so they may apply for employment insurance benefits.  Requests for ROEs are prioritized for those no longer receiving scheduled shifts and will be processed first.

ROEs are submitted electronically to Service Canada.  Please note paper copies are not produced and are not mailed to employees.   Employees can access a copy of their ROE by logging into their ‘My Service Canada Account’.  Please note you do not need to wait for a ROE before opening a claim.
If your EI claim is approved and Surrey Libraries pays you additional earnings, you will need to report the earnings to Service Canada.

For casual staff, please email (cc:, with your employee ID and the date for which you were last paid in the email.  You do not need to complete a ‘Request for Record of Employment’ form.

For regular staff, HR will begin processing requests for ROEs the day after the Wage Protection Period ends (April 26, 2020).  No ‘Request for Record of Employment’ form is required.

More information regarding Employment Insurance is available at:

Also, the Federal government has recently introduced the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to workers and parents who may or may not otherwise qualify for EI benefits.  For more information, please visit:

This is a difficult time for many of us and we would like to remind you of our Family Services Employee Assistance Program which is available at any time:  1.800.667.0993.

Please continue to visit our intranet page for further communications and updates.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or your manager for any further questions.



10350 University Drive, Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 4B8
T 604.598.7415 |

Dear Surrey Libraries Staff,

I know you are anxious to hear about the future of our libraries and your work during this unprecedented crisis.

Yesterday, the Library and CUPE 402-02 reached a Workforce Adjustment Agreement, aligned to the City (see message below from City Manager). The Library Board endorsed this Agreement last night at a Special in-camera meeting.  A copy of the agreement is included in the link to the Intranet and also attached to this email. Unfortunately, there will be temporary layoffs and the Agreement offers wage protections and benefits these layoffs. The provisions exceed the entitlements in the Collective Agreement for Library unionized staff. I would like to thank our CUPE 402 Executive for their hard work in reaching this agreement very quickly.

As you note from the City Manager’s message below, the City’s operations have been significantly impacted, and it is prioritizing services deemed critical or essential.  Libraries & Recreation Centres were closed on March 16th due to the higher risk of exposure to our staff and public. In an emergency, Library services are not deemed essential.  Most of our staff are working remotely, focusing on projects, collections or brushing up on training. Since the bulk of our work is related to serving the public in our facilities, and we do not know when this crisis will end, it is difficult to sustain meaningful work for staff. Our efforts in supporting the  community/city during this crisis will be focused on providing online services – helping our public via email reference, updating the website with useful information, and ensuring access to excellent e-collections.

Over the next few days, our casual and regular staff will be receiving notice of lay-offs, as outlined in the agreement. There are still details to work through and this process is being coordinated with the City.  Please bear with us if we do not have answers to all your questions yet.

Please send your wage/benefit specific questions to  Mandy Sangha ( , and feel free to email me directly

Thank you,


Library Administration
10350 University Drive, Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 4B8
T 604.598.7304 |


Discover something new at Surrey Libraries!

Surrey Libraries recognizes that our work takes place on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the SEMYOME (Semiahmoo),  q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), q̓ʷɑ:n̓ƛ̓ən̓ (Kwantlen), qiqéyt (Qayqayt), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations and on the ancestral and traditional territory of the sc̓əwaθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen) First Nation.

From: Bhogal, Surinder
Sent: March 25, 2020 4:41 PM
Subject: FW: Important COVID-19 Update

Dear Surrey Libraries Staff,

As part of the City family, library staff are on the distribution lists for City Communications. I understand some of you have seen the City Manager’s message below and are wondering if the Workforce Agreement mentioned below applies to Library Staff.

The Library has been liaising with the City, and we have been working with our CUPE- 4020 Executive to finalize an agreement for Library workers.   We hope to have some information for you soon.

I know this has been a difficult time for many of us. Thank you so much for your patience.



Library Administration
10350 University Drive, Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 4B8
T 604.598.7304 |


Discover something new at Surrey Libraries!

Surrey Libraries recognizes that our work takes place on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the SEMYOME (Semiahmoo),  q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), q̓ʷɑ:n̓ƛ̓ən̓ (Kwantlen), qiqéyt (Qayqayt), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations and on the ancestral and traditional territory of the sc̓əwaθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen) First Nation.

From: Lalonde, Vincent <>
Sent: March 25, 2020 3:06 PM
To: City Staff <>
Subject: Important COVID-19 Update

To all City Staff,

Without a doubt, these are difficult times for everyone. We are in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis and in the past few days we’ve seen, as expected, COVID-19 continue to spread around the world and throughout our province at an increasingly faster pace.

From the very beginning, our City leadership team’s priority is to ensure the necessary measures are in place to protect the health and safety of our workforce.

Through it all, I am proud to say that our staff has done an outstanding job of remaining positive; staying true to our values and continuing to provide excellent service during these uncertain times. Every day I see staff supporting one another and showing their commitment to serving our City and its residents.

Since my last email update, I have received questions from some staff regarding the level of service at which the City is operating and would like to provide you with further details. To clarify our level of service, over the past few weeks we’ve implemented a variety of measures, which has enabled many departments to be fully operational, such as Fire Service, RCMPSS, and Engineering. However, there are other areas that are operating at lower levels, providing only essential services, such as the Recreational & Culture Division of PRC. Our goal is to ensure we can continue to deliver services to our customers and residents, while ensuring the safety of our employees.  In order to provide a more consistent understanding, Level 1 has been more appropriately renamed “Modified Business Services”.

As the situation continues to evolve, we expect that the health authorities, senior levels of government, and the City, will escalate their/our responses to ensure the safety of our population. Accordingly, the City will always evolve its response to align with these mandates, and this has already begun.  For example, as a result of concerns from public health, on March 16th we took the step of closing down our Recreation and Culture facilities as well as our Libraries. All City operations have identified our critical business functions as well as our essential services and the necessary levels of staffing required to maintain these services for our residents. This assessment is being refined in the next few days.

As the COVID-19 pandemic deepens, it will require staffing levels to be aligned with the provision of services that are only deemed critical or essential.  This is done for the protection of our workers and our clients in conjunction with Health Authority orders.  However, despite those efforts, there will not be enough work for everyone impacted by these temporary closures and service reductions.  Unfortunately, this is likely to occur in the form of temporary layoffs for some staff. I sincerely wish that this was otherwise, but the scale of this pandemic and its impact on our operations is simply too broad. With that said, the City’s goal is to support active employment of staff for as long as possible as long as there is meaningful work for them to perform in a safe manner.  This is why last week we implemented our Flexible Work Program.  We are continuing to assess how many staff that this will impact. When these determinations are made, we will inform you directly through your management team and a comprehensive communications package.

As a work family, this is difficult news for everyone.

Fortunately, we have worked with CUPE, Local 402 to structure a Workforce Adjustment Agreement that ensures impacted workers are well provided for with wage protection and benefits support in the event of a temporary layoff.

I am pleased to say that the provisions in this Agreement far exceed the entitlements in the collective agreement for our CUPE unionized staff. This Agreement provides for additional support in these turbulent times and we will continue to do our very best to help you, should you be temporarily laid-off.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank CUPE, Local 402 President, Jeannie Kilby and the entire CUPE Executive for their hard work, dedication to you and professionalism in reaching this Agreement. Further details on temporary workforce adjustments will be provided to staff as we adapt our pandemic response to unfolding events.

In situations, such as the one we are in, the end can be hard to see. However, we will get through this together, some things will be hard, but we will eventually resume our normal operations. Until then, please look after your own well-being and help support your co-workers.

If you have any questions, please email, contact your HR Advisor or speak to your supervisor or manager. If you have any questions for me, specifically, please email me at

Vincent Lalonde, P.Eng. | City Manager


Office of the City Manager
13450 104th Ave, Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 1V8
T 604.591.4122 |
Social Media Icons_email_GREEN Social Media Icons_City Speaks_GREEN Social Media Icons_Twitter_GREEN Social Media Icons_FB_GREEN Social Media Icons_YT_GREEN Social Media Icons_linkedin_GREEN

Connect, Share and Engage with your City

March 24 Update

We are here to support you in any way we can. Please continue to forward your questions and concerns to us through email, phone or text.

Stay safe everyone
In Solidarity
Denise, Eileen, Raqiya, Jan, Sandra, and Colin.

A new page is added to the system sub-site of surrey library citynet.

Title: Chief Librarian’s Message – March 24, 2020


Created By: Seline Kutan

Created Date: 2020-03-24 4:34:57 PM

News Content:

Chief Librarian’s Message – March 24, 2020


Hi Everyone,

Many of you will be working from home (WFH) now and would have reviewed the WFH template and guidelines sent yesterday. We are all still adapting these while adjusting to a new way of working and addressing some of the good questions you raise. Some of the questions asked are answered below. Please continue to communicate with your manager as the guidelines may evolve.

  1. All staff can continue to work their scheduled shifts, including weekends, until further notice. We realize there may need to be adjustments due to personal circumstances. Please discuss this with you managers.
  2. Note: as the Library is not serving the public and there is no requirement to work evenings or weekends, no shift premiums will be paid during the closure.
  3. Staff who may prefer to request a record of employment in order to claim for Employment Insurance may do so by completing the form in this link:

The form must be completed by both staff and their manager. Once both sections are completed, send to Mandy Sangha at

  1. We understand many of you want to cancel your vacations as personal plans are being changed beyond your control due to COVID-19. The Library will approve these cancellations in this unusual situation; however, keep in mind that as vacation is approved by seniority system-wide, we may not be able to approve your new request submitted later in the year.
  2. Check in daily with your manager to ensure you are being coded correctly, e.g. working, sick, medically required to self-isolate, etc.
  3. Please suspend purchases of supplies and materials, including those made on City issued credit cards or requiring reimbursements. As staff are working from home, there are limited resources to process these requests. Speak to your manager for exceptions.

IT Updates:

  • If you have a City laptop – keep them plugged in and turned on overnight so that they can be updated.
  • Contact the IT Help Desk for any computer supports you need.
  • Laptops may be connected to home networks via Wi-Fi or ethernet cable.
  • IT is working on remote sign-in for staff to access their desktop and all files from home.

Please touch base with your manager if you have any questions or concerns. It’s important to stay connected at this time. We do not know how long this situation will last and we want you all to take care of physical and emotional health. You may also contact Employee & Family Assistance Program for support. They can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1.800.667.0993.

Thank you – Stay safe and healthy,