We’ve compiled frequently asked questions to provide AJC members with as much information and AJC union advice as possible on the mandatory vaccination policy in the workplace. If you have any other questions or concerns about COVID-19 and the government’s vaccination policy and your rights as a unionized employee, please reach out to your regional Governing Council representative.

How will implementation of the policy work?

Employees are being asked to fill out an attestation of vaccination form through GC-VATS, a web platform within the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Application Portal (TAP).

GC-VATS will centrally store the attestations and provide access to aggregated data to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, in compliance with the Privacy Act and the security requirements. Similarly, deputy heads and departmental Heads of Human Resources will have access to departmental-level aggregated data.

Can the Employer require me to be vaccinated?  

No one can be physically forced to get a vaccine against their will.  However, employers have an obligation to keep workplaces safe and, in the context of a global pandemic, can, in the AJC’s view, require employees to be vaccinated to continue to work subject to any duty to accommodate obligations they may have.

Can the employer request my vaccination status?  

The Ontario Human Rights commission and other human rights commissions across Canada maintain that mandating and requiring proof of vaccination during a pandemic to protect people at work is generally permissible as long as there are protections in place to ensure that those who are unable to be vaccinated for a Code-related reason can be reasonably accommodated (such as NB, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Man.).   

Does this mandatory vaccination policy contravene the collective agreement? What about Charter Rights? Will the AJC contest this policy or file an injunction in Federal Court?

First, the legal issue arising from mandatory vaccinations in the face of a global pandemic is uncharted territory.  While we continue to assess the situation, the AJC it is not currently satisfied that the mandatory vaccination policy violates the Charter and, if the policy does violate the Charter, the AJC is satisfied that the Employer has a strong argument to uphold the policy, given the government’s pressing need to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect health and safety of public servants.

What is the AJC’s position on the mandatory vaccination policy?

As it has been the case since the beginning of this global pandemic, the AJC’s priority continues to be the health and safety of its members.   Consequently, the AJC supports the broadest possible vaccination of Canadians, including public servants, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect the health and safety of public servants in the workplace.  Mandatory vaccinations and mandatory masking in workplaces, including courtrooms, subject to permitted exceptions, are ways to ensure that the health and safety of our members are protected.

Was the AJC consulted on this policy?

The AJC and other Bargaining Agents (BA) were initially given an opportunity to review draft policy documents relating to mandatory vaccination prior to the election.  Bargaining agents provided extensive input to the Employer at that time.  While the government was in caretaker mode, however, all consultations ceased.  An inadequate and unreasonable deadline was provided to BA’s to review the policy and framework before the government’s official release.