It was a pleasure to see many of you last week to discuss the immunization issue.
We have brought to the attention of senior management at the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and ECCC their obligation to adhere to, and implement our collective agreement clause on immunization:
The Employer shall provide the employee with immunization against communicable diseases where there is a risk of incurring such diseases in the performance of the employee’s duties.
The department has told us that it has raised vaccinations for our members at the Health Canada/PHAC interdepartmental committee. However, it is not clear if a serious effort has been made. Certainly, we have not seen the results.
It is also worrisome to note that some of you were told by management that this clause does not apply to operational MTs, but was applicable in cases where, for example, an employee was working in lab with pathogens.
We have brought this article to the attention of TBS, repeatedly, with no promising results. The failure of TBS to fulfil its vaccination obligations to SP Group members who must perform in-person work during the pandemic remains a substantial concern for us. It is similarly frustrating that ECCC, along with some other departments, continues to fail to advocate on behalf of their critical workers – including PIPSC members.
Some of our members have already filed grievances on this issue – thank you! We are writing to you today to explain the benefits of filing individual grievances and how PIPSC can support you
Please note that individual grievances are not against your supervisors and managers, but are part of a legitimate process provided to public servants.
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.
TBS seems to think that PIPSC members are not concerned by the employer’s refusal to uphold its commitment to provide vaccinations against workplace hazards such as COVID-19 – let’s prove them wrong!
Debi Daviau, PIPSC President
Waheen Khan, ECCC National Consultation President