Dear GLP members,
Thank you to everyone who attended our legal perspective webinar last week in regards to the Employer’s mandatory vaccine mandate. We wanted to provide a recap of the content for those who weren’t able to attend and also to let members know that the vaccine mandate Q&A document has been updated.
At this stage, we are waiting on the detailed mandatory vaccine policy from the Employer, which is expected for November 1. Until then we may not be able to comment on specific questions that members have about the policy. We continue to encourage members to follow the PHO’s health orders and to be fully vaccinated.
Joint Standing Committee Update
During joint standing committee meetings, representatives from the Union (both staff and elected) meet with representatives from the Employer side (from the PSA and management). At the most recent meeting, we requested that the Employer consider non-disciplinary approaches for members who are not vaccinated by the November 22 deadline.
We asked that the Employer make decisions regarding when it’s safe to return to the office based on the best data available and that they take a careful approach with the safety of our members at the forefront of all decisions. To this, the Employer responded that November 22 was not a hard date for returning to the office. It is the date they have currently selected for double vaccinations to be completed by employees. Returning to the office on November 22 will be informed by the best data they have at the moment, and as advised by the PHO. They will re-evaluate this decision and date if the data indicates that this is not the best course of action.
During the meeting, we also asked the Employer to adopt a policy that would require appropriate mask-wearing and we raised concerns about crowded offices and stressed the continued importance of focusing on reducing close spaces, crowding, close contact.
We also brought forward questions about privacy and how information regarding vaccine status would be stored. To this, the employer responded that they are looking at how to proceed in the least obtrusive and most efficient ways. We will know more about this issue when the policy is released.
Teleworking remains an important priority for our members and we pushed the employer to permit more teleworking opportunities and we requested more flexibility around teleworking for members with dependent care responsibilities.
On the topic of accommodations, the Employer is exploring an expedited process that will streamline accommodation requests so they are dealt with in an efficient manner. If a member is requesting accommodation they should reach out to the PEA for support.
Correspondence with the Deputy Minister
Members can also view the correspondence we have had back and forth with Lori Wanamaker, Deputy Minister to the Premier regarding the GLP pandemic survey results and the return to office date on the PEA website.
This continues to be an evolving issue that has been resource-intensive for the PEA including for our volunteer executives and local reps. I want to thank them for their commitment to working through these challenging issues on your behalf and thank you all for your patience.