COVID-19: ÉTS community support

Solidarity, flexibility and attentiveness

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The COVID-19 situation is evolving on an hourly basis, and École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) is mobilizing all of its resources to provide support for the members of its community. Since the beginning of the crisis, ÉTS has launched a number of measures aimed at helping students and employees who are experiencing stress and concerns related to COVID-19. In addition to the emergency assistance that was announced for students, a variety of other services have been made available.

According to François Gagnon, Director General of ÉTS: "All of our teams are ready and available to provide support to our 11,000 students. I am referring to the 1,500 employees, professors, instructors and lecturers, who have already been hard at work for many days. The well-being of our entire society is at stake. Don’t be shy about asking for assistance. My entire team is here to listen so that we can make the best decisions for you in this time of crisis and change."

Here is an overview of the services that have been made available to students and employees.

Support for students

  • Academic support
    The remote delivery of the end of the current session and the beginning of the Summer session may raise a number of questions and present challenges for students. Several teams are available to help, both remotely and online, including the teams at the Registrar’s Office Bureau and the various departments. All of the relevant contact information is available online.

    In addition, new guidelines for grading courses for the current session have been established with the cooperation of the various departments, instructors and the Student Association (AÉÉTS).

    Summer co-op work terms are being maintained. If an employer cancels a co-op work term because of the current situation, the student will be able to register for one or more courses during the Summer session. The registration system (Cheminot) will be accessible from April 6 to May 3 for registration for the Summer session, and from May 4 to 15 for the course change period.

  • Psychological support
    Student Services (SAÉ) offers students free and confidential consultations with a counsellor by phone. Students who are interested should submit a request to sae@etsmtl.ca.

    Students can also turn to Centraide of Greater Montréal to meet urgent needs for food or for listening, assistance and referral services. Simply call 2-1-1.

  • Financial support – exceptional measures
    ÉTS announced the lifting of coercive measures related to the payment of tuition fees, and will be as flexible as possible for students who are experiencing significant financial impacts as a result of the current crisis.

    A $250,000 emergency fund has been created to help students who are experiencing urgent financial needs to meet basic necessities. Cases involving loss of income due to COVID-19 will receive priority treatment. This new program will be coordinated by the SAÉ, and the relevant procedures will be announced soon.

    A total of $100,000 has been set aside to help students who are studying, doing internships or carrying out research abroad, and for whom the government-mandated repatriation has created unexpected and significant expenses. The Student Recruitment and International Coordination Office (BRÉCI) has been in contact with those students who may be eligible for this assistance.

    Students who have lost their employment and are experiencing difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak should inform themselves and take advantage of the various measures that the Canadian government has launched, as applicable, including the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

  • Students with disabilities
    The SAÉ staff remains available by e-mail or by phone to help students with disabilities. To make an appointment, please write to sae.esh@etsmtl.ca.

  • International students
    The SAÉ team is also available to respond to the legitimate concerns of international students. They have created a webpage that contains a wealth of useful information pertaining to immigration and specific questions. Students can contact the team by e-mail, at etudiantsetrangers@etsmtl.ca.

Support for employees

  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is accessible anytime and remotely. The information is available on the Intranet, in the Human Resources Service (SRH) section.
  • The Government of Québec also offers support via the 8-1-1 phone line. Consult the information page.
  • The group insurance program includes reimbursement of a significant portion of consultation fees for professionals and specialists (some conditions apply).
  • New: The SRH is launching a telemedicine service that will allow ÉTS employees to consult a physician remotely and onscreen! The details of this new service will be announced during the month of April.
  • A training and mentorship program will be available from April 14 to May 1, and will provide professors, instructors and lecturers with the tools required for the various online teaching platforms.
  • Working in collaboration with the team from ÉTS Formation, we are currently developing a series of webinars that will present best practices, tips and advice related to teleworking. New training sessions intended specifically for managers will soon be available remotely, discussing topics such as “Managing a team remotely” or “How to hold efficient and productive meetings remotely”.
  • Finally, ÉTS has signed an agreement with the employees’ union (SEETS) to allow all staff members to offer service delivery. This agreement makes application of the collective agreement more flexible during this exceptional period, while respecting the abilities and skills of salaried employees, along with their personal and family situations. In light of this, certain employees may be assigned to different tasks, in accordance with the needs of ÉTS.

Other initiatives are currently being developed, and will be announced over the coming weeks. All members of the ÉTS community are encouraged to submit their ideas and projects to the following address: info-covid19@etsmtl.ca.

We are counting on every member of our community to demonstrate your solidarity, willingness and flexibility in overcoming this exceptional situation and in doing whatever is necessary to benefit everyone.

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