The City of Prince George has suspended its mandatory Covid-19 vaccine policy only 2 days before the policy would have terminated employment for unvaccinated employees.
Unvaccinated and individuals that chose not to disclose their vaccination status will be allowed to go back to work for the first time in nearly 1 year.
The decision came after negotiations with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 399 and 1048 reaching an agreement with the City before the final January 15, 2023, deadline according to a statement.
Prince George imposed their Covid-19 vaccine mandate on workers on January 14, 2022. The city required municipal employees, contractors and volunteers to be “fully vaccinated” against Covid-19 which was 2 doses of the Covid-19 shots and if they weren’t they were placed on unpaid leave.
Employees would have been terminated after a year of unpaid leave if the mandatory vaccination policy remained in place, according to an agreement between the city and CUPE.
Before the Friday announcement he city’s mayor, Simon Yu, told the Prince George Citizen that there were 16 unvaccinated city employees on unpaid leave that on Sunday January 15, 2023 would get axed completely from their positions if the vaccine program wasn’t suspended.
Some of the impacted employees expressed being financially ruined and their career held back.
“My career with the city is ruined. One full year of lost wages, missed opportunities with job promotions,” the employee said. “Take your pick. How can a person measure this heinous act’s impact?”
An employee that wanted to remain anonymous expressed the loss of income and benefits made it unaffordable for the family to get dental work and they were financially ruined.
“The mayor nor a single city councillor has not reached out to ask a single question from me. Don’t you think they should be communicating with the very people who are being affected?”
The employee blamed the city’s senior administration, including the city manager, for the misfortune caused by mandatory vaccination. They called for his immediate dismissal with no severance pay. “Same with the HR team. Everyone should lose their jobs at the minimum,” the employee said.
Vancouver, City of Victoria, City of Richmond, City of Coquitlam, City of Kamloops, Shuswap Regional District and other cities across British Columbia suspended employee Covid-19 vaccine mandate last year.
while Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier David Eby take the province in a different direction and double down by making the Covid-19 shot mandate for health care workers law in Bill 36. BC Public service employees, contractors and volunteers are still mandated to be so-called “fully vaccinated” with 2 doses of Covid-19 vaccine.