At least one group has already filed an objection to the City’s proposed proof of vaccination policy to be discussed on Tuesday.
Mike Huxley, who said in an email to the City that he wants to be heard at the Oct. 12 special council meeting, represents the CUPE Local 160.
In his points outlined in the email, Huxley said the policy does not promote cooperation and understanding between the city and its employees and that it is a change of job description and should be negotiated as such.
“This policy does not promote cooperation and understanding between the city and its employees. As well as it does not promote morale, well-being and security of all employees,” said Huxley.
He further stated that Article 21.01 of the collective agreement says that “When the city adds additional duties or tasks or that change the qualifications shall be reviewed and negotiated with the union.”
A final point in the email is that the agreement specifies that the City will provide all safety devices which might be reasonably required, which mean the City should pay for all tests required in place of a vaccine.
Provincial rules already restrict access to many City facilities to those who are fully vaccinated or have provided a negative COVID test.
The City has planned the policy for a while and will not be taking input from the general public as it is not seeking direction on how it should be written, said Mayor Greg Dionne recently.
“It’s a no win. You’ve got the fors and the against. The only good thing about the fors, I believe the majority rules. I’m a proud Canadian and the majority of us have gotten vaccinated,” he said. “So the people that don’t want to vaccinate, you can kick and scream all you want, but I do believe that the majority of the population has the right to be protected.”
“It’s pretty obvious when you listen to all the medical experts, vaccination, masking, wash your hands, stay six feet apart. It’s been working for 18 months. Unfortunately we took a pause and now we’re trying to catch up.”
Included in the agenda is information on provincial guidelines for employers that want to create their own vaccination policy.
The regulations, which apply to all provincially-regulated employers with the exception of Crown employees who already have a provincial policy to follow, are not required by the province.
If approved, members of the public aged 12 and older will have to show proof of full vaccination (reached two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines) or a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours.
The policy would come into effect on October 13.
“We are dealing with some of the highest levels of Covid-19 infection and spread since the start of the pandemic,” said Dionne. “Vaccines are safe and proven effective at preventing the spread of Covid-19 to others. This reports considers measures that will make us all safer.”
This policy as proposed will apply to City owned facilities including:
Art Hauser Centre
Alfred Jenkins Field House
EA Rawlinson Centre for the Arts
Frank J Dunn Pool
Margo Fournier Centre
Municipal Service Centre
Water Treatment Plant
Waste Water Treatment Plant
Knotty Pine Bistro
Summer Games Building
Children’s Choice Daycare/Small World Day Care
Patrons under the age of 12 years are not required to produce any documentation or results.
All other patrons:
Patrons under 18 that are entering the facility are required to produce proof of vaccination or test result. They are not required to produce ID.
All patrons 18 years or older are required to produce proof of vaccination or test result as well as identification.
One of the following must be presented before entry:
– Documentation with two doses of Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days PRIOR to entry.
– Ministry of Health Wallet Cards, Copies of MySask Health Records or scan of QR codes will be accepted.
Paper proof of a privately paid negative PCR or antigen test will also be accepted in lieu of proof of vaccination. SHA test results or photos are NOT acceptable.
City employees reporting for work will be required to present proof of being fully vaccinated or a negative Covid-19 test by October 25, 2021.
The special council meeting is set for 4:30 on Oct. 12 and are generally aired on the City’s YouTube channel as well.