The employer announced today changes to the vaccination framework, mandating vaccines for the public service and federally regulated workplaces.
First and foremost, UCCO-SACC-CSN encourages every member who can get the vaccine, to do so. There is no doubt that the vaccine has proven to be a vital layer of protection against COVID-19. For those that are unable to be vaccinated because of medical or religious reasons or perhaps another of the prohibited grounds of discrimination, you will need to seek an accommodation. UCCO-SACC-CSN will help members through this process.
If the employer refuses an accommodation based on a prohibited ground of discrimination and a member is placed on LWOP, a grievance will be submitted for the LWOP as well as the refusal to accommodate.
RTW/DTA covers religious grounds and discrimination under the Canadian Human rights act. In this policy, personal choice is not an accepted reason for accommodation. The employer has not left any room in its policy for personal choice. For those that may choose not to get the vaccination or refuse to divulge their vaccination status to the employer as requested in the policy, UCCO-SACC-CSN will represent you through the grievance process.
To be completely upfront with those members choosing to not get vaccinated or those not willing to provide their vaccination information to the employer without an approved accommodation, it should be noted that the grievances process could take at least two to three years to even be heard, as the scheduling of hearings rests entirely with the FPSLREB. Furthermore, there is currently no precedents in the court system to predict the outcome for these cases.
We want to remind every member that we are all in this together, and we recognize this is a very divisive issue amongst members. Please remember the employer has put us into this position and it is our job as union members to ensure the strength of the membership is not affected by the government’s choice to divide.
There remain many unanswered questions about this policy as it was created with very little time to provide input and receive answers to our questions. The final version of the employer’s policy has yet to be shared with us. UCCO-SACC-CSN remains committed to engage the employer on this policy and seek answers to any questions members may have. Once again, we encourage all members to get vaccinated and stay tuned for further information.
If you have any questions, please provide them to a member of your local executive, who will then follow up with the Regional or National Executive.