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Mandatory vaccinations or testing recommended for city staff

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A staff report on a COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy for city workers is coming to council next week. 

The recommendation is to mandate employees provide proof of a full vaccination status effective November 29th.  

Employees with a medical or religious reason would be exempt. 

They would need to provide proof of a negative COVID test/Rapid Antigen Testing at regular intervals of at least 72 hours. 

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“Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health for the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, supports the implementation of the City of North Bay’s COVID-19 Vaccine Policy,” states the city staff report. 

Dr. Chirico is quoted in the city staff report. 

“Workplace vaccination policy is an important measure to promote the safety of employees and the public and demonstrates the commitment of the City of North Bay to keep residents safe”, he says. 

The staff report also says further consultation with union partners may be required.

“This option requires the city to collect and store personal health information and could be met with a challenge to the Collective Agreement, specifically as to whether it’s a reasonable exercise of management rights given the other public health measures currently being observed and enforced or under Common Law as Constructive Dismissal due to what might be perceived as a fundamental change to a term and condition of employment,” states the report.  “There is no case law at this time to address this particular situation.”

The report also explains that several other municipalities, including Sudbury, Timmins, Ottawa and Toronto have implemented a mandatory vaccination policy with allowances and testing for exemptions based on medical or religious reasons.

The report is on the agenda for Council’s next meeting on Tuesday, October 5th.

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