Support For Laid Off Workers

Dear Members,

As many of you already know, due to the COVID-19 situation the University has recently began temporarily laying off workers for the summer. 

Layoff notices were first issued in the middle of May, and have primarily affected workers in Food Services. Recently, workers in athletic services have also been laid off, and in the upcoming weeks, we will see more workers in Food Services laid off. 

The University has offered a temporary top-up of 80% of regular income, up to a maximum of $250/week ($1000/month), minus payroll deductions, to all laid off workers who are recipient of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The top-up will be provided for 13 weeks, and will be paid out on your regular pay days. The university will also continue to provide benefits to those who are laid off at no premium expense to the worker. 

This means that with the CERB, laid off workers can receive a total of $3000/month, thus we encourage those who are eligible to apply for both the CERB and the top-up. Please note: the CERB allows workers to supplement their income by no more than $1000/month. If you have another job, or receive income that puts you over the $1000 threshold, you may not be eligible for the CERB and/or payments may be clawed back by the CRA in the near future. 

In order to apply for the top-up, you must login to the HR Service Centre and fill out an application, with proof that you have received the CERB (i.e. bank statement). 

To apply for the CERB, visit

Members who need additional emergency financial assistance are encouraged to consult the Ontario Works program, a provincial benefit program for low-income/unemployed Ontarians.  Call them to determine whether or not you are eligible.

Members can also continue accessing EFAP (The Employee and Family Assistance Program). EFAP offers counselling, information and resources for all employees and their dependent family members. Examples include:
• Emotional Support: counselling, coaching, online courses, and tip sheets on stress and
anxiety management, resilience, and other mental health supports
• Financial Planning: coaching, online courses, and tip sheets on topics such as budgeting,
managing financial stress, debt management, and handling financial setbacks

Services are offered remotely and confidentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
by calling 1-800-663-1142. Additional tools and resources for managing finances, anxiety, stress
and resilience can be found at:

Pension: If you are enrolled in the University’s pension plan, you can continue to accrue
pensionable service during your temporary layoff. A letter outlining your required contributions
will be sent by regular mail to your home address. Please log in to Employee Self Service to
ensure your mailing address is correct, or work with your manager to have it updated on your

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your union president by calling the union office at 416-946-7620 or emailing Allan at

Download (PDF, 256KB)