Tuesday, April 7
 
Hello everyone, 

I just wanted to check in with an update for this week; although we don’t have many definitive answers as of yet. I want to assure you that we have not been ignoring any questions regarding available work. 

I’ve been spending many hours on calls with the banks, accountants, and other business advisors – as of yet no one seems to know how the new government assistance for small businesses and their employees is going to roll out.

As much as the Federal and Provincial governments are trying to help Canadians, there are not a lot of clear answers being provided for us as employers. I promise that as soon as this picture becomes clearer we will update you and we can navigate through this together.

In the meantime please remember to practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible. The sooner we all start to do this, the sooner we can get back to our regular routines. Remember, it’s not just your health but everyone else’s around you too.
                                
Once again, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to us. 

Thanks,

Dwaine

  

Important Update - Wednesday, April 1

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all doing okay this week through this. I haven’t heard anything bad on anyone yet, so it seems like we are all making our way through this day by day.

I was hoping by now to have a more in depth email posted for you in regard to the announcement made on Monday, and the help coming to employers and employees.

The Prime Minister stated on Monday that the information would be announced yesterday, we waited all day and nothing came. However, I was just told that there will be an official announcement later in the day today. I am hoping that between tonight and tomorrow we will be able to get some more information gathered for you in order to update you by the end of the week on what we have heard, and potentially what help may be coming toward Trinity and our valued team.

Keep strong and patient; we will continue to provide whatever guidance and help we can, as soon as we can.

Remember, if you find that you need help – reach out to your managerial contact. Please turn to us even if you need to talk or vent because you are scared and have no where to turn. We are here for you as a team.

If the manager you speak with can’t help you, they will reach out to one of us and we will be there for you. This is going to be a very hard time on people mentally as it’s new territory on all facets. The government is trying to offer support regarding this. For anyone that may not have been aware, we have added resources focusing on mental health at the  Trinity Check-In section.

Most importantly, take care of yourself and your loved ones. We will be in touch soon.

Dwaine

If you are currently in a mental health crisis and need help now, call Nova Scotia’s Mental Health Crisis Line 1-888-429-8167
This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

Wednesday, April 1 (Pay Cheque Pick-Up)
Please note that employees will not be allowed in or near the Trinity Energy Group offices. This is in an effort to keep both locations clean and sterile for everyone’s safety and wellness.

Stellarton Office

Pay cheque pick-up will be available from 10:00AM – 12:00PM, Thursday, April 2.
Rodney Misener and Peter MacDonald will be outside of the 102 MacGregor Avenue location to give you your cheque.

If this time does not work for you, please contact Rodney or Peter to make alternative arrangements. Please note, that this may result in your pay cheque being mailed via post.

Rodney Misener (902) 921-0782
Peter MacDonald (902) 754-2441

Mount Uniacke Office

Pay cheque pick-up will be available from 10:00AM – 12:00PM, Thursday, April 2. Once you arrive at our 38 James Boyle Drive location you are to call Operations Manager, Richard Sutherby at (902) 754-1769. He will bring your cheque out to you.

If this time does not work for you, please contact Richard to make alternative arrangements. Please note, that this may result in your pay cheque being mailed via post.

Richard Sutherby (902) 754-1769

 

 

Wednesday, March 26 (Pay Cheque Pick-Up)

 

Please note that employees will not be allowed in or near the Trinity Energy Group offices. This is in an effort to keep both locations clean and sterile for everyone’s safety and wellness.

Stellarton Office

Pay cheque pick-up will be available from 10:00AM – 12:00PM, Thursday, March 26.
Rodney Misener and Peter MacDonald will be outside of the 102 MacGregor Avenue location to give you your cheque.

If this time does not work for you, please contact Rodney or Peter to make alternative arrangements. Please note, that this may result in your pay cheque being mailed via post.

Rodney Misener (902) 921-0782
Peter MacDonald (902) 754-2441

Mount Uniacke Office

Pay cheque pick-up will be available from 10:00AM – 12:00PM, Thursday, March 26. Once you arrive at our 38 James Boyle Drive location you are to call Operations Manager, Richard Sutherby at (902) 754-1769. He will bring your cheque out to you.

If this time does not work for you, please contact Richard to make alternative arrangements. Please note, that this may result in your pay cheque being mailed via post.

Richard Sutherby (902) 754-1769


Important: If you have not already done so, please create a My Service Canada Account at https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/my-account.html.

This will allow you to obtain your ROE and track the status of your EI claim.

 

Friday, March 20

Hi everyone,

Well, we made it through the first week at least. This has been one of the hardest weeks that I have had to experience with Trinity to date, but at the end of the week, I feel a lot more secure than I did on Monday.

As you all have seen I’m sure, things are changing by the hour and it is very hard to even get a handle on what this is going to look like over the next couple of months. Things are going to be different than we have ever experienced as a society, and other than looking after the business and our people the best we can there’s not much else we can do but wait it out and be smart with our actions.

I wanted to send this email out today to keep the communication open before the weekend, but also to update you on whatever ways we are going to try to help as of right now. I didn’t want any of you worrying any more than you already are over the weekend if I can get this information out there to you today.

As of this morning, we are down well over half of our staff, with a lot more, unfortunately, seeing today as their last day working for now:

  • The offices will basically be on skeleton crews.
  • All Efficiency work at households is shut down leaving only the auditors still working and finishing up their backlog of audits. After 1-2 weeks they will be caught up and finished as well.
  • Mikey has arrived home from Nfld yesterday, and Jamie is holding down the fort over there for the time being.
  • Commercial jobs are down to skeleton crews, but for now, they are still slowly moving forward. We actually got a call to start a job next week at IWK so there are still some of us representing out there, for today at least.
  • Queens Marque might be the last job running here soon….so, Kevin McDavid you may be the last person bringing money into Trinity….so, just sayin’, no pressure! lol

 

The only silver lining I may take out of any of this will be the maintenance we can complete on equipment and trucks over the next bit. I’m trying to make it possible to keep Woodburn running as long as I can so that we can use the opportunity we have in front of us with all the equipment shut down, to try and get as much done as possible (at least until we can’t get any parts anymore or I run out of money, whatever comes first).

So, this brings us to how I am viewing next week and the weeks after for now:

For those of us that are still working, in my opinion, should feel very fortunate to be able to continue providing our full paycheques to our family‘s needs, myself included. There are too many people around us that do not know how they are going to pay their bills in the coming weeks. So, for however long the rest of us that have this opportunity, let’s make the most of it so Trinity and our families are in the best position to get back up and running when the time comes.

I need you all to be safe, work smart and look after our gear. We can’t have any wasted money on stupidity right now. For those that are working, please give your best efforts. This is the only time I will be negative today: if I see or hear about anyone that is still working and not putting forth their best effort, I will have you replaced. There are too many employees that would love to have the opportunity that you still do, and I have zero patience for stupidity and/or laziness at this moment. Our people at home are relying on us to make sure Trinity gets through this.

For all of you that have been laid off this week, I know that is has been a stressful week for you with no answers. I truly hope the Government will start clearing some things up for us soon.
At Trinity’s expense, we have decided to top up everyone’s pays so that they will be receiving at least 40 hours for this coming pay period. To clarify: the majority of us in the company will be getting a full paycheck again next week on Thursday, whether you worked or not. We are hoping that this will take some stress off of everyone, and buy everyone a little more time to see when the government money will be coming.
I will be speaking with your respective managers by the end of today, and I will be updating them on my plans so that they can communicate it properly to you if you have any questions for them. I have instructed them to have a discussion with each of you, reminding you to be contacting your mortgage lenders, landlords, car loan lenders, credit cards, etc. in the next coming days. In my opinion, it is crucial that you are all doing your part and getting your non-essential bills reduced as low as you can to help your families get through this.

The banks will be allowing us all to postpone some of these payments and we should all be taking advantage and getting things in place right now for when the money dries up. I am still seeing confusion over landlords and tenants, but I’m expecting any time for them to postpone your rent with no penalty as well. Hopefully, there will be more clarification on this early next week. There are a lot of phone numbers and recommendations on our webpage to help you with some calls.

Please note: For some of you, your pays will be different than another employee so, please, don’t start comparing why some of you got your vacation pay and some didn’t. Karen has to go through each individual employee and figure out the best way to get them paid out with the least amount of tax being taken off. That means that some will see vacation pay this week and some will have it dealt with next week or further weeks in the future. In my mind, if everyone is at least getting a 40-hour pay next week, then that will allow us all to breathe and reevaluate at the first of next week when there’s more information available.

Thank you Karen for all the effort you are putting in behind the scenes to look after everyone individually.

For all involved, I would expect next week, unless you are still working or have vacation, savings, etc to be the last pay cheque you see.

Moving forward, after next week, I am hoping that Trinity will be able to set up a loan program for those of us that still don’t have any money coming in or haven’t received EI yet. These are going to be moderate loans, intended to cover the various essentials such as food, diapers etc. It is NOT intended to cover beer, credit card payments, car payments, rent etc., as like I explained above, I expect you to contact your lenders and have those payments deferred as much as you can at this time.

Some of us may be okay, but some of us are going to need every little bit of help we can offer. I need you all to have the attitude that if you don’t really need the money, please don’t ask for it until you do. That way, the help is there for those of us that are really in trouble if things get bad.

If any of you find that you are feeling that you are being mistreated by a landlord or any bill collector that is not being cooperative through this, please let your managers know. If I deem it necessary, I will get help get Trinity’s lawyers to help you if possible and if it’s deemed that you are doing everything to help yourself that is within your power. I can’t promise anything, but if a phone call from a lawyer to your problem person could help, then it is worth the try if the lawyer agrees.

For now, that is all I can say or know. We’ve got one week behind us, next week we will face another again, starting Monday. Together.

Please pass this on to your partners if you are still working with them: Look after each other and those around you. That’s all that really matters right now.

Talk soon,

Dwaine

 

Wednesday, March 18

 Mt. Uniacke Pay Cheque Pick-up:
If you are not in self-isolation, please come pick up your pay at the Mt. Uniacke location on Thursday, March 18th between 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM. If other arrangements have been made with you personally, please follow those arrangements.

If you are in self-isolation, please call Richard at 902-754-1769.

Stellarton Pay Cheque Pick-up: 
If you are not in self-isolation, please come pick up your pay at the Stellarton location on Thursday, March 18th between 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. If other arrangements have been made with you personally, please follow those arrangements.

If you are in self-isolation, please call Rodney at 902-921-0782.

Blue Cross Medical Benefits:
At this time, if you are laid off, we will not be cancelling your Blue Cross medical benefits (if you are currently enrolled). When you return to work, what you owe in co-pay will be added as a loan on your pay cheque and will be deducted weekly in $5.00 increments.

If you decide to terminate your medical benefits, they will be automatically reinstated with no waiting period upon return to work.

If you wish to have your coverage canceled, please email Shelby at shelby@trinityenergygroup.ca.

Nova Scotia Power:
If you find yourself in circumstances that leave you struggling to pay your power bill, you can call NSP customer care centre at 1-800-428-6230.

Please explain your situation as they are offering that when they stop all collection activity, they also stop interest on amounts going forward. Customers’ bills will still show old interest charges on amounts owing, but there will be no new interest placed on the account. Again, please contact them directly to discuss your specific situation so that they can set up a personalized plan.

Employment Insurance:
We expect guidance/an announcement from the Federal Government today or tomorrow (March 18 or March 19).

This hopefully will answer any questions that we all have. Until then, you can try the Service Canada line for EI claims due to closures due to COVID-19: 1-833-381-2725 

Mortgage/Loan/Car Payments:
If you find yourself in circumstances that leave you struggling to pay your loans, please contact your mortgage and loan providers to request a deferred payment schedule.

Ask the question… “I’ve been laid off, what flexibility is available for my mortgage and other credit payments?” Be persistent.

Advice from a reputable mortgage broker: “Every lender will have their own specific program. If you want to know what is available to you please call your lender; there is a good chance that the phone lines are going to be busy so please be patient. If you defer payments there will be interest in the back end and this will affect the balance of your mortgage when you are up for renewal. Deferring mortgage payments is better than losing your home, however if you have any extra cash you may wish to continue to pay vs. deferring your mortgage payments. Ask these questions when you speak with your lender!”

Here are reputable links with more information:

Phone Bills:
If you have a cell phone, most providers have released statements on billing in response to the COVID-19 issues. We have linked some of the major providers’ statements here:

As we said, if you need us, please get in touch. You can call either office directly or get in touch with Rodney or Richard through their numbers listed above.

Trinity (Mt. Uniacke): 1-902-466-4333

Trinity (Stellarton): 1-902-396-4333

Hang in there!

Your Trinity Family