Thursday, August 11 2022

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Most public sector workers receive COVID-19 vaccines, but some have filed complaints.

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Figures compiled by The Expositor show high vaccination rates in the City of Brantford, County Brant, Brantford Police, Brant Community Health System and Brant County Health Department. However, the health unit and the health system face grievances.

At the health center, all 117 active staff members are fully immunized. All newly hired staff must provide proof of vaccination or a valid medical exemption before starting work, said Ryan Spiteri, the agency’s communications director.

However, he said the Nurses Association of Ontario has filed grievances on behalf of its members, as is the association’s right under its collective agreement.

“We are currently working with ONA to resolve these grievances,” Spiteri said. “We are unable to provide additional information on active grievances. “

The healthcare system, which includes Brantford General Hospital and the Willett Emergency Care Center in Paris, has a full vaccination rate of 93% among its more than 2,200 employees and medical staff. All volunteers in the system are fully vaccinated.

Another 1.6 percent of employees and medical staff received a dose while 5.4 percent declined or would not disclose their immunization status, said Alena Lukich, spokesperson for the health system.

She said no one had been fired under the health system’s vaccination policy, but three unvaccinated employees were suspended because they refused to be tested for COVID-19.

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The health care system has received a grievance filed by the ONA and another from the Service Employees International Union.

Meanwhile, 79.6 percent of Brant County staff are fully vaccinated and 17.6 percent have not been vaccinated.

The county has not received any grievances, no employees are on leave, and no employees have been terminated due to the county’s vaccination policy.

The figures provided by the county cover 678 employees, including all full-time and part-time employees, volunteer firefighters and paramedics.

A spokesperson for the City of Brantford said 75 percent of the 1,000 employees covered by the vaccination policy are fully vaccinated, while 15 percent are in the process of getting vaccinated or disclosing their status.

Another seven percent said they would not disclose, while three percent said they were not vaccinated.

Among the employees who do not disclose or are not vaccinated, there are employees on sick leave and seasonal workers on contract who are nearing the end of their contracts.

No employee has been sanctioned with forced leave or job loss in connection with the city’s immunization policy, said Maria Visocchi, director of communications and community engagement at Brantford.

]However, those unable to provide proof of vaccination must complete mandatory vaccination training by November 30th. In addition, they must undergo a rapid COVID-19 test no later than 48 hours before starting work.

The city has not received any grievances due to its policy, Visocchi said.

The Brantford Police Department has an immunization rate of 88% among its 267 sworn members and civilian employees.

No grievance has been filed and no employee is on leave in connection with the service’s vaccination policy.

Those who do not wish to disclose their vaccination status are subjected to a rapid COVID-19 test as if they were not vaccinated, a police spokesperson said.

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