Greater Sudbury makes COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for city staff
Greater Sudbury has released its COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees.
In a news release Wednesday, the city said all employees are required to disclose their vaccination status by Sept. 30 and to be fully vaccinated with an accepted vaccine by Nov. 15.
"The policy applies to all city employees, volunteers, students and members of council," the release said.
Employees at Pioneer Manor have a separate policy in place. The policy will also apply to members of council committees when meetings move from virtual to in-person.
“Since this pandemic began more than 18 months ago, the city has followed all public health advice and implemented measures to protect the well-being of our employees and our community,” Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger is quoted as saying in the release.
“This policy is the next step in that approach, and aligns us with many other private- and public-sector organizations. We know that vaccination is our best defence against COVID-19, and it’s a vital step in protecting our employees, their loved ones and our community as a whole.”
Greater Sudbury will make "reasonable accommodation" for workers with a valid Human Rights Code-based exemption for medical or religious reasons, following application and approval with the appropriate documentation.
"Those employees will be required to undergo regular rapid antigen testing in order to protect other employees and ensure adequate infection and prevention control measures," the release said.
City workers who don't have an approved accommodation plan and are not fully vaccinated may request options for leave in accordance with current policies and collective bargaining agreements.
There is a provision for progressive discipline for employees who fail to comply with the requirements of the policy, the release added.
“With the ongoing concerns over the fourth wave and variants of concern, we continue to face unique and considerable risks associated with this unprecedented pandemic,” CAO Ed Archer said in the release.
“Similar to what is being done in many municipalities across Ontario, adopting this policy will allow employees and residents to enter our facilities knowing we are taking all reasonable steps to keep them safe and healthy. We have made, and will continue to make, decisions that support a safe workplace and protect everyone in this community.”
All city facilities continue to follow public health advice as it relates to additional health and safety measures, including wearing masks, self-screening, washing hands and physical distancing.
Beginning Sept. 22, the province will require Ontario residents to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings, including fitness/recreational facilities, sporting events, meeting and event spaces, restaurants, bars, casinos, cinemas and concerts.
"This will have an impact on some city facilities, and more details will be shared in the coming days as the province provides more detailed guidance on implementing this program," the city said.
For COVID-19 updates and information related to city services, click here.