DATE: September 27, 2021
TO: Unifor Members at SaskEnergy/TransGas and SaskPower
FROM: Trevor Davies, Unifor Local 649 President
SUBJECT: Government Directive; Vaccinations and Testing
On Friday September 24, 2021, our respective Corporations released information with respect to testing. Within the releases from SaskEnergy and SaskPower there are specific differences, regardless of the information that is released it is Local 649’s responsibility to represent the interest of all our members.
We encourage members to choose one of the options, testing or vaccination and to provide the information as required. It is our firm belief that this is medical information and it must be provided to the appropriate department. SaskPower is following the aforementioned process, however SaskEnergy has indicated that employees are to submit to their management. As members of Local 649 we in the Union Office are required to comply with the directives, below you will find a copy of SE Asst. to the President, Monica Radwanski adhering to the requirements but advising that the information requested will be supplied only to Employee Health Services.
Individuals have the right to choose to be vaccinated, but employers have also always had a right to enact reasonable workplace rules. A workplace rule is evaluated using the KVP method which was established in 1965. Essentially KVP states that while employers in unionized workplaces have the right to unilaterally impose rules, those rules must be: communicated to employees; reasonable; administered in a fair and consistent way; and compliant with the collective agreement. Accordingly, if someone declines vaccination which is their right, and an employer mandates it, which is also their right, and if a decision-maker agrees it was a reasonably necessary measure to keep others safe, including coworkers and the public. Subject to accommodation for documented health and religious exceptions, the worker declining to abide by the policy will likely face consequences, up to and including termination.
While the information provided by the Corporations has had limited details, Local 649 has identified a number of items of concern; testing options, time accountability and testing fees. We continue to have dialogue with the Companies and where it is warranted and supported in law/statute/acts we will follow the process’s available in our Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Outside of discussion with our employer’s we have contacted the Minister responsible for SaskEnergy and SaskPower (Minister Morgan) and will share those findings with the membership when we have them.
The Health and Safety of all employees is paramount and we represent all employees regardless of their personal views. We also recognize that discord and animosity have no place in our workplaces and remind employees of the need to adhere to Respectful Workplace Policies.
Should you have specific questions or concerns please direct to:
Trevor Davies, President – firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Radwanski, Assistant to the President SEI – email@example.com
Jodi Kieper, Assistant to the President SPC – firstname.lastname@example.org
T.J. (Trevor) Davies, CD
President, unifor Local 649
Chair, unifor PRC Political Action
111, 2709 12th Ave
Regina, SK S4T 1J3