ICBC-COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Grievance – Arbitration and Section 54 Complaint Update
August 24, 2023
To: All MoveUP members at ICBC
After several months of procedure by the parties and consideration by Arbitrator Ken Saunders we now have the published award resolving the union’s grievance in respect to ICBC’s mandatory covid vaccination policy. To read the award follow this link: moveuptogether.ca
Very briefly, the arbitrator found that ICBC was not generally required to allow members to work from home as an alternative to getting the covid-19 vaccination. However, he also found that ICBC acted unreasonably in instances where they required MoveUP members, who were not required to be in the workplace, such as those on sick leave, to show proof of vaccination. Also of interest, the arbitrator found that a general “public service” desire to increase vaccination was not sufficient to impose this requirement on workers.
This award means that for the few members who chose not to show proof of vaccination, and consequently were put on an unpaid general leave of absence, they will not be compensated. For the few members who were not required to be in the workplace, such as those on sick leave, the union will contact the members and the corporation for follow-up.
The findings are consistent with other mandatory vaccination arbitration awards in that, generally, arbitrators uphold employer’s right to have such policies, however, the policies are also held to a high test from the perspective of individual human rights and privacy concerns.
With regard to the section 54 complaint, we continue to wait for a conclusion to that process. Upon its conclusion we will provide a more detailed update.
This pandemic has been a once-in-lifetime stressful event for so many of us. Regardless of what opinion each person has regarding vaccinations and specifically this particular policy, we are committed to a workplace free of harassment and stigmatization.
Trevor Hansen, Union Representative