Sherry Hillier speaking at an event

Cooperation with unions necessary for government and employers during rollout of vaccine mandate

creynolds COVID-19 Announcements, News Release, Occupational Health & Safety

CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador is calling on the provincial government and employers to consult with unions – ahead of and throughout – the rollout of the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for public sector workers announced today. 

“Cooperation between the province and unions, and cooperation between employers and unions, will be necessary as the vaccine mandate is carried out,” says CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador President Sherry Hillier.

CUPE will be monitoring the situation closely and we’ll be addressing employers’ actions on a case-by-case basis.

“We have an obligation to all our members, including those who are not vaccinated,” says Hillier. “Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons.”

“We’ve asked our locals to contact employers to let them know that the union expects to be consulted ahead rolling out any vaccine related policies.” CUPE NL represents 6,300 members working in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, community services, NL Housing, home support, transition homes, universities and colleges, and other public sector workplaces.

“Since the beginning, we have been encouraging our members to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” says Hillier, “and we have heard from many of our locals that there has been an increase in members getting vaccinated over the past two weeks,” says Hillier.

“CUPE has always placed a priority on our members’ health and safety. Our members have the right to be safe at work, and people have the right to receive public services in a safe environment,” says Hillier.