October 21, 2021
Yukon Employees’ Union leadership met Wednesday with the Government of Yukon. They are working to develop a plan or policy to support the employee vaccination mandate announced October 15th. We have provided the Public Service Commission with our concerns and have passed on those brought to us by members. We have also provided the timeline in which we expect a response from the Premier.
While YEU believes that a vaccinated workforce is currently our best recourse for increased occupational health and safety, we respect that for many reasons, some of our members may be unable or unwilling to choose vaccination. We know too that there are privacy concerns and for some, strong opposition to the idea of a vaccine mandate. Choosing whether to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is a very personal choice, and there are as many reasons for and against as there are individuals considering their options.
Your union will support the enhanced workplace safety a vaccination policy can provide, but we are also here to support the rights of our members who are medically unable to be vaccinated or those with religious objections. For those who choose not to accept the vaccine, we believe that the employer has an obligation to consider alternatives to leave without pay or disciplinary action, including remote work, PPE and rapid testing.
YEU President Steve Geick will meet Friday with the Public Service Commissioner and Minister John Streicker to reiterate our demands and discuss how this policy will be drafted and implemented. This is a challenging time, but we are working hard to find solutions that offer enhanced safety and security for all workers.