Update and Vaccine Rollout

Dear CUPE 3261 Members,

It’s been a challenging year for all of us, and we want all our members to know that our union is working hard for all members, and we are here for you if you have any questions or concerns. Many members continue to have important questions about when things will return to normal.

With the instability caused by the third wave, and the messy rollout of the vaccine, the union nor the university can guarantee a date for when normal operations will resume. As soon as we receive any updated information, we will inform you as soon as we can.  Please keep an eye out in your inbox and check our website periodically (3261.cupe.ca)

As far as we know, the university is committed to a safe return for September 2021 and is looking to resuming in-person instruction and other activities, with the possible exception of large-scale gatherings. The university expects to see most administrative and support workers returning in person at this time.

You can keep track of the University’s plans for reopening by visiting the “UTogether” website here.

For specific details on COVID-19 for staff, visit the HR and Equity website here: The University’s Response to COVID-19 – The Division of Human Resources and Equity (utoronto.ca).

In the event you require self-isolation due to symptoms or test positive for COVID, you must inform your supervisor. You should also email U of T’s Occupational Health Nurse at ehs.occhealth@utoronto.ca.


Everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible. The University will allow anyone who is getting vaccinated to get time off without loss of pay and will not count toward sick, vacation, or personal days. If you have a vaccination booked during work, please inform your supervisor or manager. 

With more vaccines on the way, the provincial government has announced that vaccination efforts during the month of May will be sped up. Here is the expected timeline: 

Week of May 3
• Individuals aged 50 and over
• Individuals aged 18 and up in hot spots
• High-risk health conditions
• Cannot work from home Group 1

Week of May 10
• Individuals aged 40 and over
• At-risk health conditions
• Cannot work from home Group 2

Week of May 17:
• Individuals aged 30 and over

Week of May 24
• Individuals aged 18 and over

To see if you’re in a hot spot, visit Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination plan | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario

How to get vaccinated? 
If you live in Toronto, you will likely book your appointment via the provincial portal. Visit COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated – City of Toronto

For Peel Region residents, book an appointment here: https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/vaccine/
Durham Region residents: Region of Durham (durhamvaccinebooking.ca)
York Region residents: COVID-19 Vaccinations Clinics | York Region

Everyone above the age of 40 is also eligible to receive the Astro-Zeneca vaccine, which you can receive through a pharmacy. Book your appointment here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

For those living in hot spots, you cannot book an appointment through the provincial portal unless you are above the age of 45. For those between 18-44 and living in hot spots, we encourage you to visit the vaccine website of your city (listed above) or the website of your closest hospital to see if they are offering vaccinations. 

Vaccine Webinar

CUPE National is hosting free informational webinars on the vaccines on May 4th and May 5th from 11am-1pm. The webinar will discuss the current vaccines available and how they exactly work. The aim is to help educate members to be better advocates for themselves and to understand the vaccination process better. There is a lot of misinformation going around right now and it’s important everyone know what is false and what is factual. 

If you are interested, please register here: 

Other News

New Interim Chief Steward

We are happy to announce that Wilson Franco, currently our Full-time and Part-time Representative will be serving as temporary Chief Steward. Our previous Chief Steward Patty Varvouletos has stepped down. We thank her for her many years of service and the value she brought to our union and wish her continued success in the future. Wilson Franco was initially elected to the executive in the February General Membership Meeting. He is a maintenance technician at UTM and will be an invaluable addition to our team! Moving forward, he will work with stewards to address their concerns and an election for a new Chief Steward will be held this June.