Questions about the City’s redeployment process during the COVID-19 crisis? Please see our frequently asked question fact sheet below.
- Can I request an accommodation instead of redeployment?
Yes. You have the right to request an accommodation. You need to choose between opting in or opting out of redeployment. You may still opt-in to redeployment even if you have an accommodation request. Depending on the request and individual facts, you may be required to provide supporting documentation in order to substantiate your accommodation request. If your request is substantiated but a suitable redeployment assignment is not available, you may be placed on EL until such time as a suitable redeployment assignment is identified.
Keep in mind, the City is redeploying staff because they need to meet operational needs. If you are able to work, you are expected to be available. If you have received a redeployment survey and have questions about accommodation, contact the City’s Redeployment Team at email@example.com. If you have already been redeployed or are working in your regular position, contact your supervisor/ manager to make a request for accommodation.
2. What can I do if my accommodation is denied?
If your request for an accommodation is denied as unsubstantiated and you refuse redeployment, the City will place you on Emergency Leave and you will not be eligible for the 75% top up if you apply for EI. If you are on CERB, you are not eligible for the top up.
If the City is unable to accommodate your request, contact the Local. Local 79 will use all the tools available, including the grievance procedure, to defend our members. Please keep in mind that all grievances will be put in abeyance until the Order has been lifted or there is a further negotiation with the City. As with any grievance, there is no guarantee of a favourable outcome and we are also facing unprecedented times.
3. I am currently off on accommodation? Will I be redeployed?
If you are on accommodation it will be respected. If you are contacted for redeployment and the City cannot find work within the parameters of your accommodation, you will be permitted to use any paid leave to which you are entitled. If you have no paid leaves or have exhausted all available leaves, you will be placed on an EL. You can then apply for CERB.
4. Can I request vacation instead of redeployment? What if I have vacation already booked?
Powers under the Provincial Order allow the City to deny, defer or cancel vacation requests. The City has advised that employees will be permitted to use a portion of vacation, up to 2 weeks, before going on Emergency Leave (EL) or Employment Insurance (EI) to reduce loss of income. The Agreement provides that when everyone returns to work that the City will allow vacation, and where not possible, will allow people to carry over their unused vacation.
5. Who will go to work first under redeployment?
The City is prioritizing full-time staff to be redeployed starting with employees who are not working because their job cannot be done remotely, members working in a reduced capacity, or individuals already working that have skills required or needed elsewhere. The City is looking to staff divisions where there are staffing shortfalls for critical/essential services, such as shelters and long-term care.
6. What if I was already redeployed? Will I be moved again?
If you were already redeployed/ volunteered for redeployment the City will continue to use staff in these roles and based on operational need. The Provincial Order allows the City to move staff based on operational need for critical/ essential service. The City can change your deployment to another work site or cancel your redeployment if you are no longer required in that position.
7. I was not contacted for redeployment, what do I do?
You do not need to do anything. The City can call you back in from EL for operational need or redeploy you from your current work assignment if you are needed in another division. If you are currently on any type of leave or accommodation and your situation changes, you should contact your supervisor/ manager and advise them of your willingness/ability to return to work.
8. Will seniority be used for redeployment?
The Emergency Order has given the City discretion to ensure it can meet its operational needs. The employer has committed to using seniority after identifying employees for work opportunities based on staffing requirements, temporary and part-time status, availability and qualifications.
9. If I am redeployed will I continue to receive my base pay?
Yes, or the greater wage of the position you have been deployed to.
10. Why did Local 79 settle with the City on an agreement, why can’t we use our rights under the Collective Agreement?
The Provincial Declaration of Emergency Order allows the City of Toronto authority to override our Collective Agreement. These measures include placing more members on Emergency Leave as it did with recreation workers and other part-time employees last month.
Given these pressures, Local 79 has worked hard to negotiate an Emergency Framework Agreement with the City that establishes guidelines on the reassignments and temporary redeployment procedures that protect jobs and wages and allow members to continue with your benefits and pension.
BENEFITS AND PAY
11. What is Emergency Leave (EL)?
EL is a job protected leave that the Province created in light of the emergency. The City can place you on Emergency Leave (EL) if you have circumstances impacting your ability to work, i.e. you are immune-compromised or caring for children, or if they have no where to redeploy you. If you are placed on EL you must apply to CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit), which currently amounts to $2000/month and has a periodic reapplication process. Once CERB has been exhausted, you will need to apply for Employment Insurance.
Local 79 was able to negotiate that individuals placed on EL or an unpaid leave will also have continued access to their benefits including employer pension contributions. Payment for your portion of OMERS will be paid directly to the City. Where you will have difficultly paying your portion, you should contact OMERS.
12. What if I have no sick time while on accommodation, how will I get paid?
If you run out of paid sick days, and have exhausted all other paid leave, you will be placed on EL.
13. I am currently on CERB, am I eligible for the 75% top up?
No, due to Federal legislation only individuals on EI will be eligible for the top up. The 75% top up was negotiated under the City Emergency Framework by the Local. The City, along with other municipalities and CUPE, are advocating that individuals on CERB be considered for the same benefit.
14. I am currently on CERB. During the 30 day ‘no pay’ period after the order ends, what is my source of income?
If you are not working and are on the unpaid leave you should apply for EI until such time that you may be called back to work, or your employment status changes.
15. If I am on CERB or EI, will I still get benefits?
Yes. Local 79 was able to maintain members’ benefits under our Emergency Framework Agreement with the City as long as you are on EL or the unpaid leave. This includes medical, dental and employer contribution to OMERS.
16. Do I have to pay for my benefits if I am a full-time member and I am not at work?
No. you are entitled to all of your regular benefits and employer pension contributions unless you elect not to continue your pension contributions.
17. I am a part-time/ seasonal worker, will I still receive my benefits and what portion of my benefits do I have to pay?
You will still be entitled to your benefits and the amount paid will be based on the average of the last 8 pay periods.
18. What if I can’t afford to pay my portion of OMERS because my income has changed due a change in my work status?
You are responsible for covering your portion of any OMERS contributions while on Emergence Leave (EL), EI, or any unpaid leave after. For the purposed of OMERS, EL is treated as other job protected leaves such as pregnancy leave. You will have until the end of the following year to pay your portion back. Payment for your portion of OMERS will be paid directly to the City. If you have any questions about OMERS contributions, you should contact OMERS.
19. On what portion of salary am I paying into OMERS? i.e. if I am not currently receiving my full pay or on unpaid leave?
The contribution for Emergency Leave is set by OMERS and you will need to speak to them or payroll.
20. How will I be called back to my position once the Order is lifted?
The Province may lift the Emergency Order at any time. This does not mean City operations/ services will resume instantly. Under the Framework Agreement with Local 79, members will be recalled to their position. It may take the City longer to recall staff back to work as normal operations resume. If your position is not reactivated, you will be provided with notice of layoff and be subject to terms and conditions of the Collective Agreement.
21. I am a part-time/ seasonal worker. The City has contracted out my job, when will I be eligible to go back to work?
The Unit B and Recreation Workers Collective Agreements have similar contracting out provisions as the Full-Time and is part of the Emergency Framework Agreement. If a members position is not reactivated, they will be placed on a paid leave effective on the day they would have returned to work and will be provided with notice of layoff and be subject to terms and conditions, such as recall, under the Collective Agreement.
22. Why are managers working in Local 79 jobs when staff hours are getting cut?
Under the Provincial Emergency Order, the City has discretion to use non-union staff to do union jobs. Local 79 has been working with the City to keep Local 79 members doing Local 79 work. In some instances, we have already filed grievances for contracted out work. If you are not working and believe management is doing your job, please call your Unit Officer and we can follow up to see what work is being done by management.
23. I have been redeployed but my position is being discontinued/ not reactivated. What happens to me at the end of the redeployment?
If a member’s position is not reactivated following the termination of the Framework, the member will be placed on a paid leave effective on the day they would have returned to work and shall be provided with notice of layoff and be subject to terms and conditions of the Collective Agreement.