MTS FAQs on COVID-19

Applying for CERB

The application form for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit will be available online as of April 6, 2020.

To avoid overloading the system, the government has prepared a schedule, inviting workers to apply on a specific day, according to their birth date. Please see below.

Read FAQs about CERB here


Important info for Substitute Teachers
Canada introduces Emergency Response Benefit

Substitute teachers can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a taxable benefit that will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, are able to receive the CERB.

CERB payments will begin within 10 days of application and will be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

If you have already applied for EI and your application has not been processed, you do not need to reapply.

The portal for accessing the CERB will be available in early April.

Read the full release here


MTS is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. This information is intended to address frequently asked questions for our membership. We will update this list as necessary.

1. Do I need to cancel my spring break plans?

The Government of Canada has strict international travel advisories in effect. Click here to find out more. If you do not follow these advisories, your will risk your eligibility for benefits and pay. Avoid non-essential travel.

2. What about domestic travel?

All non-essential travel should be postponed.

3. I just returned from vacation, should I stay home?

According to the Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba, all travellers returning from outside Canada should self-isolate for 14 days.

4. Does it matter where I travelled or plan to travel?

Yes. All travel advisories should be heeded.

5. My employer has asked me to tell them if I am travelling out of province for personal reasons. Do I need to tell them?

While the employer may request you advise them of your travel plans, you are under no obligation to do so. However, there is very strong guidance and advice from the Canadian Public Health Agency that states: Avoid non-essential travel.

Your personal time is yours however please consider public health safety and personal safety issues in all of your decision-making.


Self-Isolating

6. If I am in self-isolating, will I be paid?

In certain circumstances, Manitoba Health is directing Manitobans to self-isolate, which is a precautionary measure and does not mean that the individual is infected with COVID-19. This is a medical reason not to be at school and therefore we would expect the absence to be paid. The suspension of classes and schools remaining open will require members who are not on sick leave or who have been directed to work from home to report to/for work as may be required by your school.

7. A member of my household has been directed to self-isolate. Do I need to stay home from work?

A discussion with your employer and a medical opinion on your health status will inform this decision.

8. I am worried about catching COVID-19 and transmitting it to my family. Can I take a leave?

Teachers in this situation may apply for and may access leave but should expect that it will be unpaid.

9. Can my school division deny me sick leave (pay) if I am directed to self-isolate?

If you are denied sick leave and/or pay due to an absence directed by a doctor or public health professional, please contact an MTS staff officer to discuss your specific circumstances.

10. What happens if I do not follow Health Canada’s travel advisories and contract COVID-19?

If you do not follow Government mandated travel advisories and contract COVID-19, you will risk your eligibility for benefits and pay. Avoid non-essential travel. Refer to Blue Cross for additional information.


MTS Response on Meetings and Member Gatherings

Effective immediately, MTS is suspending all meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences organized and/or hosted at McMaster House (or at remote locations) through to the end of spring break (April 6th, 2020). At that time, we will reassess these measures.

We are guided by Manitoba Health in our decision-making in the implementation of ‘social distancing’ practices to avoid virus transmission in the community. We advise that Locals follow suit.

We will update the MTS website regularly as developments occur.


What about substitutes?

Substitute teachers scheduled to work over the period of the school closures (March 23- 27 and April 6-10) should check with the appropriate school division to determine whether they will be paid for their cancelled shifts.

Please note payment for cancelled shifts is at the discretion of the division and will vary. The division is not mandated to pay a substitute for a cancelled shift.

Substitutes should apply for Employment Insurance to ensure they can continue to meet their financial obligations.

The federal aid package includes benefits for those who do not qualify for EI. Information on accessing this benefit will be available in April through the CRA website.