February 1, 2022
Grievances supporting our members were submitted and are currently waiting to be heard at arbitration.
September 20, 2021
Dear Local 565 Members,
Today, the Employer released their mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for AGCO Employees.
OPSEU Local 565’s Local Executive Committee (LEC) in alignment with OPSEU support vaccinations. Our best way to minimize the impact of this forth wave, and get through it, is to increase our vaccination rates.
We must do our part to overcome this crisis. We support and encourage every person who is eligible to get vaccinated.
Of course, there are exemptions, some of our members cannot get vaccinated due to their medical conditions, age and other valid reasons under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC).
We support all members regardless of status. Note: Section 8 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Employer has a duty to accommodate.
Aspects of the policy released today differ than the information that was provided to members at the last Ask Us Anything and previously to the Union such as alignment with the OPS provision of the option to participate in an educational session and undergo testing. Thus, AGCO’s Vaccination policy is more restrictive than the proposed OPS policy.
Last week the union was provided a copy of the policy for review. The union flagged sections of the policy to the employer that were concerning and unclear, as well as providing our comments. Some of the sections flagged but not limited to were “Accommodation” and “Non-Compliance”.
The following is an excerpt from my written response to the employer on September 17/21 after our review:
“Overall we support vaccination, however there are sections of the policy I can’t support until further discussion on the identified concerns
I understand the urgency to send out the communication, but in our opinion sending out the policy in its present form may be interpreted negatively by the membership and staff in regard to the sections of the policy the Union has flagged…”
Today’s released policy to all staff show’s no reflection of the concerns flagged by the LEC.
The Union‘s position remains unchanged with the currently released version of the employer’s vaccination policy. Although we support vaccination, there are sections of the current policy we cannot support.
We will continue to engage with the employer to ensure fair application of accommodation for all members during this time and onward and will re-address our concerns at this month’s Joint Consultation Committee (JCC) meeting with the employer.
Local 565, President.