February 14, 2001:

On February 12, 2001, the RCEA signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the NRC on changes to the maternity and parental leave provisions in all our collective agreements. Retroactive to January 1, 2001, the new provisions are now in place. All employees will be receiving a printed amendment to the collective agreements.

January 24, 2001:

Effective January 1, 2001, the Federal Government introduced changes to the Employment Insurance Act, which provides for enhanced maternity and parental benefits. Under these changes, employees may take up to 50 weeks of combined maternity/parental leave or up to 35 weeks of parental leave alone. During such periods of leave, the employee would be eligible for EI benefits.

Under all existing RCEA collective agreements, provisions exist which cover both maternity and parental leave situations. The maximum leave under these agreements, however, was not in keeping with the new EI provisions. As a result, the RCEA and NRC have agreed to reopen all RCEA collective agreements so as to amend the provisions covering both maternity and parental leave. Once these amendments are finalized, all RCEA members will be eligible for up to 50 weeks of combined maternity/parental leave or up to 35 weeks of parental leave alone. The employer top up to 93% of salary will be extended to cover the entire period of leave without pay.

We anticipate that these amendments will be signed very shortly. If anyone is in the position of needing to commence their leave prior to the signing of the amendments, they should contact the RCEA office. We are confident that the new provisions will be applied to all employees who need them after January 1, 2001.