Friday, November 19, 2021
The Board of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) voted unanimously to implement a mandatory vaccination policy for the organization at the Thursday, November 18 Board Meeting.
The new policy applies to all elected officials, CSRD employees, paid on-call volunteer firefighters, contractors working in indoor spaces and emergency management volunteers.
The CSRD has been working with legal counsel and consulted with other local governments and union representatives in developing the policy, which will require proof of full vaccination as of January 3, 2022.
Accommodations for legitimate medical reasons, as well as protected grounds under the BC Human Rights Code, are recognized in the policy. The policy also states requests for accommodations under these grounds will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
"If someone asks for an accommodation, we are looking to deal with them in good faith," said Charles Hamilton, Chief Administrative Officer. "We are not in the business of putting people on leave, but it is a balancing act as to how we best look after the health and safety of everyone."
Policy provisions do not mandate discipline or termination of employment for non-compliance with the policy, except in the case of an employee who falsifies information regarding their vaccination status.
The Proof of Vaccination Policy was developed from the previous direction of the Board, which noted the CSRD is responsible for protecting the health and safety of CSRD personnel. Evidence has shown that COVID-19 vaccines are one of the best control measures available to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the severity of illness.
For the purposes of the policy, "fully vaccinated against COVID-19" means following all required Health Canada COVID-19 vaccine protocols. If additional doses become required, CSRD personnel will be expected to comply with those additional measures.
Those affected will now be required to show proof of vaccination to CSRD Human Resources prior to the January 3, 2022 deadline. In addition, any new personnel will be required to show proof of vaccination before starting work.
Photo: The CSRD administrative offices at 555 Harbourfront Drive NE, Salmon Arm.
View printable copy (PDF).