If you are a YEU member, odds are you have read or heard something about the union's position on the vaccination mandate. We want to make it clear where we stand in case any uncertainty remains.
Does YEU support the vaccine mandate? YES
Does YEU believe workers should be vaccinated? YES
- We believe vaccination is an important Occupational Health & Safety measure that will help protect workers and the public.
Does YEU agree that Leave Without Pay is the only possible alternative for unvaccinated workers? NO
- Regular rapid testing is an alternative that could keep many of our critical workers on the job.
Did YEU take this to the Public Service Commission and seek alternatives? YES
- The Public Service Commission refused to consider options; they advised us that their decisions are based on the guidance they received from the A/CMOH.
Did YEU file a grievance against the vaccine mandate? NO
- YEU's policy grievance is against the Government of Yukon's flawed implementation of the mandate, the fact that the announcement came before the policy was drafted, and that it was done in an arbitrary fashion without exploring alternatives to LWOP.
Is YEU filing grievances for members who want to grieve the policy? In some cases.
YEU is legally obligated to review every grievance request on its own merits. If we believe there are grounds to grieve and the possibility of a favorable outcome, we will build a grievance. In the case of mandatory vaccine mandates, there is little we can do.
This guidance from the PSAC explains:
While the PSAC has a duty of fair representation in light of its status as the exclusive bargaining agent, this does not equate to an absolute right to representation on every issue that members raise to challenge the policy. For example, members who choose not to be vaccinated and have no legitimate human rights grounds to request an exemption are unlikely to succeed with grievances that challenge the legality of this new employer policy.
This means that the union is not required to provide representation for every challenge that members would like to raise regarding the implementation of the mandatory vaccination policy, especially if members are trying to ask the Union to find ways to avoid getting vaccinated.
PSAC has clearly stated that it supports a vaccine mandate within specific parameters to protect the health and safety of all employees in the workplace. We are not advising or counselling members without legitimate medical conditions or religious beliefs (Hereinafter referred to as “human rights exemptions”) to find ways to circumvent the policy.
We encourage our members to be vaccinated in advance of the November 30th deadline.