Attention CUPE Local 5167 Members – City of Hamilton Employees

Attention CUPE Local 5167 Members – City of Hamilton Employees

Update #2 – August 30, 2021

The City has posted their policy regarding the mandatory vaccination verification policy. Please note we previously referred to this as the mandatory vaccination policy. It should be noted it is not a mandatory vaccination policy; but is about verification from a health and safety perspective.

We understand and have heard the varying opinions and perspectives of members from both ends of the spectrum and everything in between.

We would like to remind our members CUPE National’s Health and Safety Branch recommend vaccination as soon as they are able to do so.

https://cupe.ca/covid-19-vaccination-workers-rights

We have met with the employer today. We are left with unanswered questions as the employer is still in the process of sorting the details of the policy.

Clarification we received:

  • Verification of vaccination will be from the Ministry of Health; the employer will provide instructions on how employees access and share this information to Return to Work Services. As with all medical documentation, it will be subject to privacy laws.
  • The testing will be rapid antigen. More details to come.
  • The cost of rapid testing is not the responsibility of the employee at this time.
  • Vaccination is not a requirement for new hires, they will be bound by the same verification policy. Their vaccination status is not a requirement of hire.
  • The education piece will be a one-time video approximately 30 minutes in duration.
  • Medical exemptions will require medical documentation to be submitted to Return to Work
  • Religious exemptions will require verification to be submitted to the Human Rights group.
  • The intent of the policy is not meant to be disciplinary in nature but rather educational.

What we still require clarification on:

  • The implementation date of rapid testing.
  • Details around PCR testing if an employee fails the rapid antigen testing.
  • Details of when and where and how rapid testing will take place.

We understand members may choose to share their own personal information in the workplace, however, no one should be a subject of debate or harassment. It is still personal confidential information. We remind members of the Employers code of conduct and the respectful workplace policy as well as CUPE’s Equality Statement and Code of Conduct on these matters.

CUPE Local 5167 will be filing a policy grievance to ensure our timeline under the Collective Agreement are met while we ensure the Employer policy does not exceed management’s rights or violate any of our members individual rights under the Collective Agreement or legislation.

We will be meeting with the employer again next week, once they can confirm the details.

We will be holding an information session most likely next week once we have further information.

In solidary,

The Executive Board