90% of municipal employees comply with COVID-19 vaccination policy
With the deadline passed, nine out of every 10 municipal employees in London are complying with city hall’s new COVID-19 vaccination policy. The rest risk losing their jobs.
Municipal employees had until Sept. 29 to submit proof that they have been fully or partially vaccinated against COVID-19, or declare a Human Rights or medical exemption.
Those with a single dose have until Nov. 1 to receive their second shot.
“That gives me a lot of reason to be optimistic,” City Manager Lynne Livingstone tells CTV News. “I really do believe that number will be going up.”
The policy applies to 3,100 municipal employees, meaning about 300 remain non-compliant.
Livingstone says beginning next week, civic administration will begin having conversations with employees who have not yet submitted an attestation.
“I think out of those conversations we are going to hear from employees who have had one dose or none, but plan to be compliant by Nov. 1,” she adds.
If an employee remains non-compliant, they will be placed on unpaid leave and subject to discipline up to and including termination.
Representing inside workers, CUPE Local 101 is city hall’s largest union.
Acting President Philip Boyd has already recommended the vaccine hesitant consult with the health unit or their doctor.
“We would like to see as few people disciplined as possible,” explains Boyd. “If people can be compliant with supplying some kind of disclosure, that would ideally be the best route for people.”
If a Human Rights or medical exemption on an attestation form is found to be false, the employee could be punished under city hall’s ethics policy.
“We accept those on good faith, however, the Ontario Human Rights Commission describes the definition of a creed. So, a singular view, (or) not believing in or not accepting the vaccine, is not an accepted grounds,” warns Livingstone.
City hall’s business continuity plan will ensure municipal services are not impacted in the event employees are placed on unpaid leave.
London police and London transit each have their own COVID-19 vaccination policies.
A policy for members of city council will be considered soon.