CMBC – Vaccine Mandate Policy Update
November 26, 2021
To: All MoveUP members at CMBC
As you know, your employer recently announced a policy requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be placed on a leave of absence without pay, effective November 29. As of next week, we expect your employer will place some MoveUP members on unpaid leave.
Throughout this process, we have advised our members (bulletin can be found here) to follow the advice of the Public Health Officer and have encouraged everyone who is able to get vaccinated do so. It has been proven that vaccines are a safe and effective way to combat the spread of COVID-19 and prevent serious illness.
Ensuring all members are represented
In communicating with our members, we know the vast majority are supportive of vaccinations. However, we know that not all members share those views.
Given the serious impact your employer’s policy will have on the livelihoods of some members, we decided that the best way to fairly represent all members was to obtain a legal opinion and to act based on that opinion.
Our lawyers identified some specific areas of the policy in which your employer may have overstepped its rights, as well as some steps your employer could have taken to minimize the impact of the policy on our members.
Board rulings and next steps
On November 15, we filed an application with the Labour Relations Board alleging the employer violated section 54 of the Labour Relations Code by not providing MoveUP with enough notice of its policy and by not meeting with us to discuss an “adjustment plan.” This is a step required under the Code where a policy impacts a significant number of employees. The Board has ordered that submissions on this application will close on December 6.
As part of our application, we also requested that the implementation of the policies be delayed until the legal issues around them could be decided. On November 19, the Board denied that request for MoveUP’s similar applications for BC Hydro and ICBC. As the Board’s reasoning would almost certainly be the same for our request for your employer, we withdrew our similar application for your employer, as it had no prospect for success. A copy of the decision may be found here.
In addition to our application with the Labour Relations Board, we also filed a policy grievance on November 18 to address the specific issues with the policy identified by our lawyers. A Stage 3 grievance meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible.
We will keep you updated as this issue develops.
David Black, President
Lori Mayhew, Secretary-Treasurer
Rysa Kronebusch, Vice-President, Utilities
Christy Slusarenko, Vice-President, Combined Units
Annette Toth, Vice-President, ICBC