2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Updated - September 25, 2020 - Please refresh your browser to ensure you have the latest version.


The situation with COVID-19 is rapidly evolving.  The NSTU will provide information and advice to members as it becomes available. NSTU members who have concerns about COVID-19 should visit this page regularly for updates.

NSTU Communications to Members

Partner Communications

Information for Substitute Teachers

  • On March 18, 2020, the Federal government announced a number of supports for Canadians that may be of interest to substitute teachers:
    • Individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits will have the 1-week waiting period waived (effective March 15, 2020).
    • Waiving of the requirement for a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
    • A new Canada Emergency Response Benefit.(CERB) - Please note that the federal government has been adjusting the Canada Emergency Response Benefit - you should check the federal government website for the most up to date inforrmation
      • This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.
      • Provides a taxable benefit of $2000 per month for up to 4 months for workers:
        • who reside in Canada and are at least 15 years old;
        • who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits;
        • who had income of at least $5000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and 
        • who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four week period.  For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.
        • The income of $5000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources:
          • employment;
          • self-employment;
          • maternity/parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program.
        • This benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19.  If you are looking for a job but haven't stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for this benefit.
        • On April 15, 2020, the following changes were made to the eligibility rules:
          • recipients can earn up to $1000 per month while receiving CERB;
          • CERB was extended to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.
      • Applications will begin to be accepted on Monday, April 6, 2020.  To manage the volume of applications anticipated, applications will be accepted on different days of the week based on the applicant's birth month:
        • Birth Month of January, February, or March, apply for CERB on Mondays with the best day to apply being April 6 
        • Birth Month of April, May, or June, apply for CERB on Tuesdays with the best day to apply being April 7
        • Birth Month of July, August, or September, apply for CERB on Wednesdays with the best day to apply being April 8
        • Birth Month of October, November, or December, apply for CERB on Thursdays with the best day to apply being April 9
        • Anyone can apply on Friday, Saturdays, or Sundays
  • On April 9, 2020, the Nova Scotia government announced a Worker Emergency Bridge Fund
    • You may qualify for this benefit if:
      • are a Nova Scotia resident
      • are 18 or older
      • were employed and laid off, or self-employed and lost all revenue because of COVID-19 on or after 16 March 2020
      • earned between $5,000 and $34,000
      • have applied (or plan to apply) for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
    • You do not qualify for this benefit if:
      • receiving Employment Insurance benefits
      • eligible for Employment Insurance benefits – check your eligibility if you’re not sure
      • receiving Income Assistance
      • receiving any income or benefit (like salary, sick leave, disability insurance or workers’ compensation) because you lost your income for reasons other than COVID-19
      • incarcerated in a federal or provincial institution
    • If you were employed and laid off, you will need a Record of Employment (ROE) which needs to show:
      • an issue date of 16 March 2020 or later
      • Box 11: your last work day must be 16 March or the last shift you worked before 16 March
      • Box 15A: hours must be less than what’s needed to qualify for Employment Insurance
        • if you live in Halifax Regional Municipality (except west of Sheet Harbour): must be less than 700 hours
        • if you live in Cape Breton, Antigonish County, Halifax County west of Sheet Harbour or Guysborough County: must be less than 420 hours
        • if you live in the rest of the province: must be less than 630 hours
        • You can check the number of hours needed to qualify for Employment Insurance in your area on the Service Canada website.
      • Box 15B: amount must be greater than $5,000 and less than $34,000
      • Box 16: must show code A (laid off) – if you were fired or you quit, you’re not eligible for this program
    • To apply:
      • Make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria.
      • Gather the supporting documentation you need for your application.
      • Call 1-800-863-6582 to speak with a Canadian Red Cross agent. Agents are available 7 days a week (including holidays), 8am to 8pm.
  • Employment and Social Development Canada - EI Coronavirus Information
    • Substitute teachers should contact Service Canada directly (1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)) if they have questions regarding EI eligibility
    • Long term substitute teachers (teachers who had reached 18 days consecutive service prior to the school closure) will continue to be paid during the closure.
  • Substitute teachers who require a Record of Employment (ROE) should contact the RCE/School Board(s) for which they substituted to request the ROE.  Please keep in mind, regional staff will be receiving many requests so there may be a wait time.
    • The NSTU has been advised that education entities are working to ensure that Records of Employment (ROEs) are processed for those requiring them (including substitute teachers) who have worked during the 2019/20 school year and who will not be receiving income from their education entity during the closure period.   For substitute teachers who last worked between September 1 to March 6, 2020, ROE’s will be issued after the March 19th pay date.   For substitute teachers who worked the week of March 9 - 13, 2020, ROEs will be processed after the April 2nd pay is processed.  Employees do not need to contact their entities payroll departments to have a ROE issued.  We understand that education entities will be posting additional information specific to their entity.

    • You can view your ROE online through your My Service Canada account.

Information for Retired Teachers

  • The NSTU is unable to provide advice to retired members with respect to eligibility for any programs announced by the Federal or Provincial governments.  Retired members who have questions related to the various governement support programs should contact the appropriate government agency for infomration related to elgiibility.
  • Teachers' Pension payments can only be affected by:
    • CPP integration taking effect at age 65.  The CPP integration is based on a formula over your workng career and has no direct relationship to the amount of CPP that you are receiving.
    • Working in a position (teaching, school administration, Community College Faculty, or Community College Professional Support) that requires pension contributions.  The Teachers' Pension Plan allows persons in receipt of a Teachers' Pension to work a limited number of days (69.5/99.5) without being required to make pension contributions.  It is only when a person in receipt of Teachers' Pension works more than the alloted days that the person's Teachers' Pension is stopped until the person stops working and becomes elgibile for the pension to be restarted.
    • The Teachers' Pension Plan is only integrated with CPP.  Any changes to other programs such as OAS has no effect on a retiree's Teachers' Pension.

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