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.
Pursuant to the authorities outlined in the Financial Administration Act, Part II of the Canada Labour Code and the collective agreement’s management rights clause (article 5), the Employer has the authority to establish policies including policies that ensure the health and safety of its workers provided such policies A) comply with the law and the constitutional rights of our members (article 6) and B) are fair, reasonable and in good faith within the limits set out in collective agreement including the no discrimination clause (article 36).
The Employer has advised that the policy documents are evergreen, and the AJC intends to continue to advocate for improvements and changes it considers to be in the best interests of our members. We continue to review the various policy documents, tools and guides in order to provide feedback to the Employer on ways to improve the process and ensure that those requiring accommodation receive it.
We continue to encourage all our members to get fully vaccinated and remain committed to assisting our members, on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that the Employer meets its duty to accommodate and complies with its legal and collective agreement obligations.
The AJC will also continue to advocate to the Employer to ensure that all workplaces are healthy and safe, and lobby the Employer to ensure that courts within its jurisdiction universally comply with its mandatory vaccinations policy, notwithstanding any alleged claims of judicial independence.