Without any discussion with the unions, Quebec Public Health demanded last Friday the vaccine status of all employees of school service centres (SSC), school boards (SB) and private educational institutions. The officials concerned had until 5 p.m. today to provide this information to Public Health.

“We’re aware that we’re living an unusual situation, but this government must know that overriding employee rights and not consulting with their union representatives is unacceptable,” denounced Richard Delisle, the vice-president of CUPE Quebec’s education sector.

Pointing to the health emergency, Public Health indicated that “it can be expected we will be monitoring as adequately as possible the vaccine coverage of employees, who will be working in our educational institutions during the 2021-2022 school year so that Public Health can intervene or amend current health measures if this were to become necessary.”

“We believe the government is thinking about imposing vaccination on all workers in the education sector as it did in the health sector last week, in which case health care employees not fully vaccinated would be suspended without pay. Not respecting the rights and freedoms of our members would be a serious mistake,” added Marie-Claude Arbour, CUPE Quebec union representative and coordinator of the CUPE Quebec education sector.

Vaccination is the best solution

In short, CUPE Quebec is strongly urging members to choose vaccination, but to put an end to this pandemic, incentives rather than coercive measures must be the way forward.

“Vaccination is still the best way to protect ourselves from COVID-19 and avoid overwhelming our health care system. We want to work with the government to find the best way to encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated,” said Richard Delisle.