City of Toronto staff facing 6 week suspension, lay offs if not fully vaxxed

The City Of Toronto is taking a zero tolerance approach when it comes to city staff being vaccinated against COVID-19 and has provided an update on its mandatory vaccine policy.

In a statement, the city says staff who do not provide proof of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be suspended for six weeks without pay, starting Nov. 1. If they provide proof during those six weeks, they will be allowed to return to work.

Following the suspension, if staff still do not show proof that they are fully vaccinated, their employment will be terminated on December 13. The termination will be “for cause” because they will have chosen not to comply with the city’s mandatory vaccination policy for staff.

The city says it plans to continue vaccine education programs for staff, including an online training module and vaccination clinics at work locations with lower vaccination rates. To give staff time to take up these programs, those who get their first vaccine dose and provide proof by Oct. 15 will be given until Nov. 15 to get their second dose.

The city released its mandatory vaccine policy for staff on Aug. 26. All city staff were to disclose their vaccination status by Sept. 17 and be partially vaccinated by Sept. 30.

The city says 95 per cent of its staff has completed the vaccination disclosure form and as of Wednesday, 26,138 Toronto Public Service members are fully vaccinated. That number represents 89 per cent of staff who disclosed their vaccination status. Five per cent of staff are partially vaccinated and 2 per cent have chosen not to disclose their status.

Mayor John Tory says the majority of city staff are fully vaccinated and the policy is focused on protecting the health and safety of all employees.

“I look forward to more staff joining their colleagues in becoming fully vaccinated in the coming weeks so that all of our workplaces are as safe as possible during the ongoing fourth wave and as our city reopens,” he said in a statement.

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