Filing individual grievances is how PIPSC can enforce your right to a vaccination. If impacted members all file grievances, this puts the department under pressure and sends a clear signal that employees are not happy with the employer ignoring their negotiated rights.
When your bargaining team brings issues to the bargaining table, grievances are key pieces of data that back up PIPSC claims that there are real workplace issues that need resolution.
Who should file?
- Are you required to work on-site?
- Has your local health authority excluded you from all categories of priority COVID-19 vaccination access?
- Did the employer refuse to fix this, either by arranging for your vaccination through the local health authority or by providing its own vaccine clinic?
If you answered “yes” to all of the above, PIPSC recommends that you file a grievance to enforce your right to a vaccination under Article 23.01 of the SP Group Collective Agreement!
Remember, per the collective agreement, you have 25 working days to file a grievance from the cause of a grievance. Even if you have been subsequently vaccinated, if you are within 25 working days of when your request for a timely vaccination was refused, you can file a grievance.
How to file
Please rest assured that PIPSC will support you with advice and representation through the grievance process. In this regard, you will find a grievance template that you can use to prepare your grievance. Once you have filled in your personal data, it can be signed by a PIPSC steward or an ERO, and submitted to your manager, as provided by the department’s grievance process.
Once you have submitted your grievance, and the manager has acknowledged receipt with a signed copy of the grievance form, please send a copy to your Employment Relations Officer in your PIPSC Regional Office, and please also copy Max Way at email@example.com.
It would also be helpful for you to forward to your Employment Relations Officer a copy of any emails or other notes that you have that would help PIPSC show that you were excluded from COVID-19 vaccination by your local health authority, and that would demonstrate that the employer refused your request to fix this situation by providing a vaccination.
It seems clear that the employer is ignoring your collective agreement right to a vaccination. Some members have asked about the possibility of filing a policy grievance, on behalf of the bargaining unit as a whole. A policy grievance is assessed based on the impact of the employer’s actions on the bargaining unit broadly, but in the case of COVID-19 vaccinations, provinces and territories have not treated our SP Group members comparably across the country. In some provinces and territories, SP Group members required to work on-site have been able to access timely vaccinations through their local health authorities.
We do not want an employer, or the FPSLREB, focusing on instances where the employer successfully fulfilled its obligation through provinces and territories that respected the critical work our members performed during this pandemic. That would only muddy the issues that PIPSC wishes to advance. We think that the grievance process should instead focus clearly on individual members who have been refused timely vaccinations by their province and by their employer.
A policy grievance decision also can’t provide individual remedies to our members – and a main purpose of contesting the employer’s approach to vaccinations would be to ensure that our members can actually access timely vaccinations against COVID-19, as is their right under Article 23.