C - 005
National Executive Board
November 4, 2021
COMPREHENSIVE COVID-19 PREVENTION POLICY FOR UNIFOR EVENTS
Unifor's National Executive Board has adopted a statement requiring that participants to Unifor National events, meetings and offices provide proof of immunization.
The current document aims to provide the details of how the policy will be applied to Unifor National meetings, events and courses.
COMPREHENSIVE COVID-19 PREVENTION POLICY COMPONENTS
- This policy applies to all Unifor National events, courses, meetings and other activities officially organized by Unifor National through its officers and staff.
- All Unifor members attending physical meetings, events or courses organized by, or in conjunction with Unifor National are subject to this policy.
- Non-members and other individuals who attend official events organized by Unifor National or taking place on Unifor National premises will be covered by this policy.
- All Unifor staff are covered by Operational policy A-009 on Comprehensive COVID-19 prevention.
Promoting vaccine uptake
- In order to protect the health and safety of our staff, members, unorganized workers and society at large, Unifor will continue to:
- Lead by example and ensure officers and directors are fully vaccinated;
- Ensure each regional office will post, and share by email, information about nearby vaccination clinics;
- Require disclosure of vaccination status at all Unifor National and Regional Councils, events, meetings, and offices;
- Maintain open channels of two-way dialogue with local unions and support reasonable initiatives that will encourage vaccine uptake.
Workplace and Unifor event risk assessment
- Unifor National meetings and events happen in many different geographical areas in many different contexts. As part of the new realities brought about by the pandemic, Unifor National and every area office will conduct a risk assessment with the joint health and safety committee or Health and Safety Representative and in consultation with those who access the space prior to re-opening and as needed on an ongoing basis.
- For Unifor National and Regional Councils, including all associated events that take place in conjunction with National and Regional Councils, organizers will be required to conduct a risk assessment with a Health and Safety Representative as part of the planning process. This risk assessment must consider the following questions:
- Do expected attendees have a high/full vaccination rate?
- Does the geographic area have a high vaccination rate and low case count? Will participants be exposed to the general public?
- Can participants keep at least two metres apart while performing their work or while in attendance at a meeting or event?
- Are participants required to be in close contact with others?
- How long and how often are participants in close contact with others?
- Does the workplace or meeting space have physical barriers when workers cannot keep distance from each other, good ventilation and personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect workers?
- Are there workers or participants who are more vulnerable and therefore at risk of severe illness from COVID-19? Some people may have reduced immunity due to age, pre-existing health conditions or medical treatments.
- Are alternative options for participation available to accommodate those who might have a human rights exemption, including virtual attendance?
- Are participants required to conduct a COVID-19 self-assessment?
Unifor event vaccine mandate
- Public Health Authorities agree that vaccination against COVID-19 offers workers the greatest protection against serious and life-threatening illness caused by COVID-19.
- All Unifor members attending Unifor National and Regional Council events are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, effective on November 4, 2021.
- Anyone working at, attending or participating in-person in Unifor National and Regional Council - organized events is required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Should public health authorities change their recommendations for immunization levels, for instance regarding booster shots, Unifor members will be required to provide updated proof of compliance.
In the case of Regional Councils and regionally-held events, the policy may be adapted to regional public health guidelines where public health authorities overwhelmingly agree.
A higher safety threshold will be maintained for events where members will be traveling from multiple regions in the country to gather.
- All Staff are subject to the same requirements under Operational policy A-009.
Proof of Vaccination
- Unifor requires proof of vaccination from all individuals who wish to attend meetings, events or courses organized by Unifor National. Proof means documentation provided by the province or territory in which the member resides, verifying receipt of a vaccination series approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization. If provincial governments drop mandates for proof of vaccination, Unifor may still require valid proof of vaccination.
- Unifor will not keep records of vaccination disclosure information.
- Members claiming a medical or human rights exemption to the application of this Policy will:
- Provide adequate documentation demonstrating the valid exemption.
- As additional supports to members, Unifor commits to sharing information from credible sources, as well as providing additional measures to facilitate vaccination.
- Information about COVID-19 from the Government of Canada
- Information from provincial or regional public health units
- Organize webinars on vaccinations (and provide access to previously-held webinars)
- Host on-site vaccination clinics, if applicable.
- With respect to the use or collection of any personal information, Unifor remains committed to taking every reasonable step to ensure an individual’s privacy rights and interests are protected.
On-site proof of immunization requirement
- Unifor will adopt the following procedure in order to confirm proof of immunization from participants at Unifor National and Regional Council events:
- Official language will be included in all advance meeting notices, call letters and communications notifying participants of an upcoming event that they will be required to present proof of complete vaccination upon arrival to the event or meeting location.
- Participants will be required to show their proof of vaccination at registration upon arrival.
- Failure to present appropriate vaccine or exemption documentation will result in being refused access to the event.
- This policy and all related practices are subject to ongoing review and may be modified from time to time by Unifor, at its discretion and in keeping with public health advice.
Additional COVID-19 prevention for Unifor events
- Vaccination can prevent severe illness from COVID-19, however people can still spread the virus to others. Accordingly, other COVID-19 prevention measures will remain in place for all Unifor events, meetings, courses and offices, including the following:
- A COVID-19 self-assessment questionnaire must be completed by all participants and visitors prior to arriving on a Unifor site.
- All participants will be asked to not present themselves on site if they show any symptoms and will be asked to seek the direction of public health authorities in the region in which they reside, or near the event, if away from the place of residence, to determine availability and the procedure for securing testing or Covid-19.
- If a participant is fully vaccinated and then exposed to someone who tests positive, they do not need to self-isolate if they do not have symptoms. If they are fully vaccinated and have symptoms, they must self-isolate immediately and get tested in accordance with the directives of public health authorities.
- Adherence to the local public health's requirements for gatherings, which may include:
- Communicating COVID-19 protocols prior the event or meeting start date
- Providing adequate space for physical distancing;
- Requiring masks be worn in situations where physical distancing is impossible or impractical;
- Conducting careful contact tracing at all times;
- Providing additional masks and hand sanitizing stations.
- The main contact for this policy is Lana Payne through the office of the National Secretary-Treasurer. Questions can be sent to @email.
POLICY REVIEW PERIOD
- This policy will be reviewed and updated as required by the National Secretary-Treasurer’s office in consultation with the Unifor Legal Department and all Provincial and Federal Health Guidelines.