U of T Vaccine Policy & Your Rights

Dear CUPE 3261 members,
Please read the notice below about U of T’s new policy and your rights at work. As always, please contact us if you have any questions. You can reach Local President Allan James at president@cupe3261.ca
In solidarity,
CUPE 3261 executive

U of T announces vaccine mandate

The University of Toronto has announced its vaccination requirement for those on its campuses or its premises. This notice states that “all members of the community must have received their first dose by Sept. 13 and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.” Please note that that proof of vaccination will be required via UCheck. This notice from the employer also states:
“Those who have applied for and received a permitted exemption to the vaccination requirement will also need to participate in the University’s rapid screening program and provide proof of negative tests before coming to campus. They will also receive public health guidance on how to modify their activities to protect themselves and others. Those who do not receive an approved exemption and who do not have their first vaccine dose cannot come to campus.”
Your Rights at Work
Workers have health and safety rights at the workplace, and employers are legally obligated under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure worker safety in their workplaces. The Ontario Government has deemed post-secondary institutions “high-risk settings” and will be requiring mandatory vaccination at universities.
Your union is committed to your health and safety and together with other labour allies on campus, we are calling on the employer to ensure the following:

  • Reduce risk of transmission by limiting campus presence to those workers whose essential duties require them to be present on campus
  • U of T vaccine policy must have stringent privacy protection for the handling of personal information
  • U of T must respect the Duty to Accommodate as it may apply to unvaccinated workers’ individual, unique circumstances and provide safe, alternative arrangements
  • Workers must not be disciplined, terminated, or subjected to harassment based on vaccination status
  • While immunization is an important element of health and safety, U of T must ensure comprehensive, site-specific health and safety protocols based on the precautionary principle that includes elements such as:
    • adequate ventilation and air filtration
    • safe spacing and clearly posted capacity limits depending on the location and its activities
    • safe personal protective equipment
    • relevant health and safety training
    • a plan for enforcement of safety policy that does not put workers in conflict with students and other members of our campus community
  • In addition, unions and labour associations must be proactively consulted on the implementation of all health and safety policies. U of T must ensure the transparent sharing of health and safety information with Joint Health and Safety Committees.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the union.