MEMO: Mandatory Vaccine for Public Sector Workers

October 15, 2021

Shortly ago, the government announced the Mandatory Vaccine Policy for public sector workers at a press conference.

The press conference video can be viewed here:

The full policy is posted here:

Throughout the pandemic, we have all benefitted from following public health guidelines that have slowed the spread of COVID-19. Your union has supported these measures, which are based on science and the advice of public health experts.

We do not need to look far in this country or even in our own province to see the devastating impact that COVID, particularly the Delta variant, can have on people, their families, and the healthcare system.

In Alberta and Saskatchewan, the healthcare systems are overwhelmed, which means people are not getting the surgeries, procedures, and treatments they require. It also means staff are absolutely overwhelmed and burnt out. The vast majority of the people in hospital and ICU beds in these two provinces are unvaccinated.

While the current situation in Central Newfoundland is less severe in comparison, it has given us a glimpse into the havoc that an outbreak can bring – lockdowns, anxiety, uncertainty,  cancelled procedures, staff shortages, and even loss of life.

We all have a part to play in mitigating the spread and impact of Covid. We do this for our loved ones, our co-workers, and our communities.

Those who are vaccinated are less likely to spread Covid, get seriously ill, require hospitalization, and/or die.

According to Public Health, unvaccinated people are:

  • 12 times more likely to get COVID
  • 34 times more likely to be hospitalized,
  • 8 times more likely to die from the virus.

The health and safety of our members is our top priority. As we have done all along, we encourage all members to follow public health advice, including getting vaccinated.

With regards to the mandatory policy, your union will work to ensure that workers who cannot vaccinate for substantiated medical or other protected grounds are treated fairly.

This position was taken based on considerable contemplation and a comprehensive review of the experience and positions of our sister unions in other jurisdictions across the country.

NAPE is committed to protecting the health and safety of all our members and to science-based approaches that keep workers, their families, and our communities safe.