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Member Assists: COVID-19

Monday, April 13th, 2020

Please see below for an excerpt from our April 2020 insideAESES newsletter:

Can You Tell Me? What Supports are Available to me During the COVID-19 Outbreak?

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, many people are experiencing frustration, anxiety, and confusion on how to handle things. These are unprecedented times and everyone is trying to find their way through this uncharted territory. AESES is here to help guide you to many different kinds of support that you might need during this time.

Economic Support
Thus far, the Government of Canada has extended a number of economic benefits, although individual eligibility may vary. These benefits include items such as:

  • Increased Canada Child Benefit (for those who are eligible)
  • Increased Goods and Services Tax Credit (for those who are eligible)
  • Extra time for filing income taxes
  • Mortgage Support
  • Updated Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • Moratorium on repayment of Canada Student Loans
  • Employment Insurance one week waiting period waived for Sick Leave benefits (for people who do not have sick leave available through work)

Some of these benefits have not taken effect yet. For example, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Child Benefit should become available in April and May, respectively.

For more information on the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, please refer to the website

Mental Health Support
Both Universities have mental health supports available to all staff. At The University of Winnipeg, support is available to eligible employees through Blue Cross’ Employee and Family Assistance Plan (EFAP). At the University of Manitoba, support is available through Shepell’s Employee and Family Assistance Plan (EFAP).

At UW, access MB Blue Cross EFAP via:
Phone: 1-800-590-5553
Mobile app: mybluecross mobile

At UM, access Shepell via:
Phone: 1-800-387-4765
Mobile app: My EAP

Additionally, the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba (ADAM) also has a support line available. When calling, you will be asked to leave your name and phone number, and a representative will contact you as soon as possible. The service is available at the following times on weekdays from 9 AM-9 PM and on weekends from 10 AM-4 PM. The number to call is 204-925-0040. You can also visit their webpage for more information at

Community Support
Are you unable to leave your residence during this time to access everyday items such as groceries and prescriptions? Conversely, are you healthy and able to leave your residence to help others? Help Next Door MB is a way to get and give support. This service operates on the principle of “neighbours helping neighbours” and it offers to connect volunteers with people unable to leave their home due to self-isolation, sickness, and compromised immune systems. Visit for more information on this free service.

Unemployment Support
Have you recently been laid off? The Community Unemployed Help Centre provides information, assistance, advice, and representation to individuals dealing with the federal government’s Employment Insurance. They can help those affected individuals navigate through the process of applying for Employment Insurance. The service is available free of charge and can be accessed via phone at 204-942-6556 or email at Visit for more information.

Ongoing Informational Support
If you’re looking for more information on COVID-19, the Province of Manitoba government website provides informational updates and resources for Manitobans. Please visit for provincial government updates.

Additionally, both Universities have webpages dedicated to communicating updates on COVID-19, as it relates to each employer. At UW, visit for current information. At UM, visit for ongoing messaging from the University.

Finally, AESES is also committed to providing continuous updates to our members. Please bookmark our page to follow us for relevant information.

The AESES Business Office is currently closed in order to respect physical distancing recommendations set out by the government. That doesn’t mean we are unavailable! Although we are not meeting in-person to provide support to our members at the moment, the office remains operational via phone and email during normal business hours. If you have any questions at all during this time, please reach out to us via phone at 204-949-5200 to leave a message for a call back, or by email at

Extra, Extra: insideAESES Newsletter (April 2020)

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

Understandably, many of our more recent missives to our membership have dealt with the effects of the current pandemic and its influence on our workplaces and daily lives. In the midst of this, we do still want to share the latest issue of our ‘insideAESES’ newsletter with you.
The April issue contains a message from AESES President Laurie Morris to our members, an article which details some of the supports available to our members during the COVID-19 outbreak, information on how members can access our Annual Report in light of our AGM postponement, and a recap of which AESES events are affected by recent government directives, going forward. As well, regular features like the Employee Spotlight, New Faces and Hires, and Event Recaps fill up the remaining pages.
Please click on the following link to access the newsletter: April 2020 insideAESES newsletter

Update on AESES’ Meetings with Universities: COVID-19

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

AESES met with the University of Manitoba yesterday afternoon in an effort to bring answers back to you, our members.  These are unique and difficult times, and AESES committed to working with the University under these challenging circumstances that we are all facing.  We recognize that this pandemic has given all workplaces little time to prepare and adaptation is critical.

In our meeting, we raised multiple concerns with regard to employment, safety, and health matters, along with a number of issues that AESES members have brought forward to our office.  Of utmost concern is that there appears to be inconsistent messaging taking place in departments across the University.  This was particularly raised by AESES given the need to improve the level of direct communications and to clarify the operational expectations in departments.  Consistent messaging is vitally necessary at this time to lay out clear and concise plans and to calm fears.

The decisions being made by the University with regard to keeping specific areas open or closed is changing rapidly, and at this point there is no certainty as to which areas will remain either partially or fully in operation or if they will be closed entirely.  It is unclear what the intent of the University will be for areas that may close entirely and where employees are sent home with no work.  AESES has requested that the University continue to pay our members in these situations, regardless of the availability of work, to ensure they do not suffer financial distress during the uncertainty of the pandemic we are facing.  While the University hasn’t committed to maintaining pay for employees out of work due to closures, we will continue to press for them to do so.

AESES also addressed the issues in the Dental Clinics and Security Services as these units have specific safety challenges that require modifications to their normal business operations. Our goal is to ensure that these concerns are reasonably addressed by the University.

Recognizing that some areas will require extra efforts and manpower to continue operations, whether at the work site or remotely, the University has agreed to allow for flexibility in overtime or bank time limits.  Additionally, the University has agreed that where employees have had to cancel travel plans, they will be permitted to cancel their vacation and the amount of vacation carryover will be extended to accommodate these situations.

With the closure of schools and licensed daycares in Manitoba, many parents will need relief for these obligations by the end of this week. The University is supportive of members caring for their children and intends to be flexible with these arrangements.  If you find yourself in this situation, speak with your supervisor to explore options for alternative work, changes to work schedules or remote work options.  Although AESES pressed for employees to continue to receive their regular pay in these circumstances, the University thus far has indicated that where remote work and/or flexible schedules is not possible, there are options for employees to use banked and/or vacation time to continue pay.  For employees without these options, you are encouraged to speak with your supervisors to discuss your situation.

At The University of Winnipeg, AESES still has not been included in any pandemic planning discussions.  We have received some responses to our questions and concerns, which have been included in the Faculty and staff FAQ page on the University’s website.  We have also pressed with the University to continue pay for those employees who find themselves out of work and not able to make alternate arrangements or work from home.  While the University hasn’t committed to maintaining pay for employees, we will continue to press for them to do so.  We are also continuing to request that AESES be included in these important discussions.

At this time there is limited news on the EI program changes that are being considered by the federal government. We are hopeful that a more robust EI program can provide financial support to families during this time of uncertainty. Members needing to apply for EI can do so through the Service Canada website at Additionally, any members experiencing difficulties with their EI application can contact the Community Unemployed Help Centre.  This non-profit centre offers free assistance to Manitobans with their EI questions and applications.  The CUHC can be reached by phone at 204-942-6556 or by email at

As we continue to work on these and many other issues for our members, we will endeavour to continue to provide ongoing communications and assistance.  AESES is available to support members at our normal business office email and phone numbers.  To reach our labour relations staff at AESES please call our main line at 204-949-5200 or email and you will be directed to someone who can assist you.

Now is the time to consider, and be considerate of, the needs of our families, friends and colleagues.  Respect social distancing, sneeze or cough into your sleeve, and wash your hands regularly.  If you know of someone who is self-isolating or is in quarantine, be sure to reach out to them via phone, text or video messaging.  Ask if they need help with picking up groceries.  Similarly, if you need assistance, reach out to others.  COVID-19 is a social disease, so let’s join together as a society to combat the spread and help our neighbors.

Stay well.

AESES Office Closure and Event Cancellations: COVID-19

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 virus and recommendations from the Province of Manitoba and Health Canada with regard to social distancing, AESES will be taking the following measures to ensure the well-being of our members and AESES Office staff:

  • All education seminars for the Spring will be cancelled and registration fees will be returned in full.
  • The Annual General Meeting, which was scheduled to take place on April 14th, will be postponed to a later date (to be determined).
  • The annual Members’ Day Lunches, held in early May, will not be taking place this year.

In addition, AESES Office staff will be observing remote working arrangements; however, there will be one person in the office each weekday. Members can still reach the office and/or our labour relations staff with any questions or concerns they have as AESES staff will be monitoring phone and email messages regularly.

AESES is still in discussions with both universities with regard to their pandemic planning. We will continue to make every effort to press for safe working conditions for our members and answers to our questions, and to ensure that messaging is being delivered by the Universities to staff with regard to work expectations, and precautionary measures to be observed, during this time.

Thank you.

Access: COVID-19 Screening Tool

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Some helpful information from Manitoba’s Shared Health group during these challenging times:

Before you call Health Links-Info Santé, take a few seconds to answer some questions that could help determine your next steps about being tested for COVID-19. Access the COVID-19 screening tool –

AESES Message to Our Members: COVID-19

Monday, March 16th, 2020

AESES is aware that many of you are experiencing a lot of anxiety regarding COVID-19 and how the universities are handling this pandemic. It is a very stressful time for us all.

As you know, the University of Manitoba and The University of Winnipeg, along with the Provincial Government, have been updating the community with regard to COVID-19 and preventative measures that are being taken to reduce the spread of the virus. We wanted to inform and assure our AESES members that we have been in contact with both universities as of last week to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on our members’ health and their employment.

We know that our members have many questions surrounding the precautionary measures that are being taken, what your role and responsibilities are and if your pay will be impacted by any absences or closures – whether at the university and/or with the public schools. Please know that we are attempting to get answers to these questions and will inform our members once we have more information. Although we have received brief replies from both institutions, we are still awaiting a more comprehensive discussion and sharing of information.

All AESES members should be following the direction provided by your university, the Province of Manitoba, and Health Canada. This includes practicing social distancing and regular hand-washing. Most importantly, be sure to self-isolate if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and contact Health Links. Both universities have indicated they are recommending working from home where this is possible. If you feel you are in a position where remote work is feasible, be sure to discuss this option with your supervisor.

Please know that AESES is working very hard to keep your interests at the top of everyone’s mind. The situation is changing hourly and it is a challenge to stay abreast of the changing messages and instructions that are being relayed. Nevertheless, we have every intention of continuing to push the employers to keep our members’ interests and well-being at the forefront.

Copy of AESES’ letter to UW Human Resources

Copy of AESES’ letter to UM Human Resources

AESES is Hiring: Join our Team!

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

The AESES Business Office is currently accepting applications for the full-time, continuing position of Office Administrator.

If interested in applying, please review the job description and submit your letter of application along with a current resume prior to the application closing date of Friday, March 13, 2020.

Applications can be submitted to the AESES Business Office; c/o Lisa McKendry; 103-900 Harrow Street East; Winnipeg, MB; R3M 3Y7. Or, may also be submitted by email to

If you have any questions about the position or application process, please contact Lisa McKendry at 204-949-5200 ext.102, or by email at

Learning Options All Around: AESES Education Seminars

Saturday, February 29th, 2020

The AESES Education Committee would like to present you with the following six seminars, as part of our Spring 2020 offerings:

Drums Alive – Thursday, March 26.  7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Exciting and at your own pace, learn how to set a beat with dynamic movements of aerobic dance and pulsating rhythms of the drum. A fun group exercise to complete with your fellow co-workers. All participants are required to complete a one-page liability release waiver before the class. Day lockers are available for use. Lock and towel rentals for $1 each, can be arranged from the front desk. Please note that outdoor shoes are not allowed in the Dance Studio. (space – 15 participants)

Metis Flower Beading – Monday, March 30.  7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Metis women developed a distinct flower design that would become the most widely used style among the Metis people of the 19th century. Come and learn how to create this design. We have instructors that are ready to show you how and the supplies are included. Free parking lot next to the main MMF doors, free street parking, and a paid parking lot across the street. (space – 20 participants)

Indoor Succulent Planter – Wednesday, April 15.  6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Get ahead with some pre-spring thoughts while you build your own indoor succulent planter. You will have a choice of containers, 3 plant plugs, soil and decorative dressings, all included. (space – 20 participants)

Introduction to Guitar – Saturday, April 18.  12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m.
Learn how to hold and get to know where things are on a guitar. You will be taught the basics about frets, chords and proper finger positioning and movement. (space – 20 participants)

Let’s discuss Discipline & Grievances – 5:15 – 6:45 p.m.
   –  University of Winnipeg – Monday, April 6
–  University of MB – Bannatyne Campus – Thursday, April 16
–  University of MB – Fort Garry Campus – Monday, April 20

Join Lorne Hilton and Colleen Thompson for an interactive discussion on Discipline and Grievance Procedures in the workplace. We will explore the Collective Agreement together and cover topics such as employer investigations, criminal behavior, insubordination, along with the mechanism used in resolving disputes (*spoiler alert* this is where we talk about grievances!).  (space – 25 participants)

Barre – Saturday, April 25.  10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Endurance, strength, flexibility and restoration. This total body workout is intense and rewarding. Using a variety of props, you will blend cardio, Pilates, balance work, and strength training into one invigorating fun movement all done with motivating music. (space – 18 participants)

If you’ve read through the seminar descriptions and would like to attend, fill out the online registration form and submit it to the AESES Office (AESES, c/o mailroom). Be sure to include your payment and submit before the March 13th deadline.  These seminars are intended for AESES signed members and their partners. All sessions are filled on a first come, first served basis, with your completed registration form and payment.

**Please note that as of 2018, AESES has implemented a policy which requires that members be signed as union members in order to participate in our education seminars.  If you are not yet signed (or aren’t sure), but are interested in attending, contact the AESES Office and we can have you fill out a membership form if needed.


Intl Women’s Day: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

March 8th is lauded as International Women’s Day the world over. Rightfully so. It is a day to celebrate the contributions of women, to highlight areas where progress continues to be made regarding rights and a push for equality, and to advocate for further gains.

Leanne Shumka, AESES-UW Vice-President, will be presenting on the topic of ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Female Canadian Labour Organizers,’ as part of this year’s recognition of International Women’s Day. As a historian, Leanne will speak on noted Canadian women labour organizers, focusing on the early and mid-twentieth century. First, she will share a summary of Manitoba’s own notorious Mrs. Armstrong’s early twentieth century labour organizing activities. This will be followed by an introduction to early twentieth century union organizer Annie Buller. An overview of the mid-twentieth century activities of CCU co-founder, Madeleine Parent, who has been called one of the finest labour organizers in our country’s history, will conclude the presentation. An open group discussion will follow, asking, ‘What motivates you to be involved in, or motivated you to attend this event on, women’s labour and union activities? What motivates you to be involved in women’s rights, social justice, labour, and union activities in general?’

Join us on Sunday, March 8, 2020! Learn more about Canada’s labour presence, built upon the previous work of Mrs. Armstrong, Annie Buller, and Madeleine Parent. Leanne Shumka will be leading the discussion and AESES President, Laurie Morris, will provide the welcome and opening remarks.

The talk is slated for 1:30-4:00 PM. We will be meeting at Harrow United Church, at 955 Mulvey Ave. Free street parking is available. Light refreshments will be served. No RSVPs are required; simply show up and feel free to bring along any other interested history buffs or labour supporters. See the event poster for more information.

This year’s IWD global theme is #EachforEqual Where, ‘An equal world is an enabled world. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.’

Event Details
Presenter: Leanne Shumka, AESES-UW Vice-President
Topic: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Female Canadian Labour Organizer
Introduction: Laurie Morris, AESES President
Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020
Time: 1:30-4:00 PM
Location: Harrow United Church, 955 Mulvey Ave
Cost: No charge

Membership Perks: Savings with Perkopolis

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

We are excited to announce that Perkopolis offers are now available to AESES members, through the company’s website, after registration.

What is Perkopolis? As a Canadian company they offer corporate discounts and special offers on top brands, entertainment, travel, and services throughout Canada, and for some US destinations as well. Think Cineplex, Enterprise, Westjet, etc.

To register:

  1. Visit
  2. Enter a personal email address, rather than a work one
  3. You’ll then receive an activation link via email
  4. Enter a member ID (university prefix + university employee #, ex. UW123456 or UM123456 or SAC123456). Note: If you have any zeros at the beginning of your employee number, do not enter them.
  5. Search away and access the savings.

Members should be aware that the AESES membership lists are sent to Perkopolis at the beginning of each month, and that these lists are based on the information we receive monthly from the universities.  As a result, it’s possible that new hires may need to wait 1-2 months before they can register with Perkopolis.

We hope you’ll enjoy this additional ‘perk!’

Did you know

AESES is affiliated with the Confederation of Canadian Unions (CCU).

AESES' Charter Meeting was held in December of 1972.

We offer scholarships for AESES dependants at both universities.

Anyone can attend a Board meeting by calling the AESES Business Office prior to the meeting and confirming their attendance.

AESES requires new volunteers for various committees. Please contact the Business Office if you are an AESES member interested in joining one of our committees.