- / FAQ – Vaccination Mandates and Return to Work
FAQ – Vaccination Mandates and Return to Work
These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) resulted from member inquiries and questions asked and answered during the AESES Town Halls with the University of Manitoba (UM) and The University of Winnipeg (UW) on Vaccination Mandates and Return to Work held during September 2021.
You can also visit the FAQ’s for UM and UW on their respective websites:
Please note this FAQ is for quick reference and is current as of October 1, 2021. Conditions continue to evolve, so it is subject to change and will be updated as needed. Please contact the AESES Business Office if you have any other questions or need clarifications based on your situation.
At the UM, unvaccinated members may continue to work but need frequent rapid testing. The employer covers the cost of testing.
At the UW, unvaccinated members without remote work options or medical/religious exemption accommodations will be placed on an unpaid leave.
Both employers have decided to address their safety and health legal obligations by proceeding with vaccine mandates. To ensure the mandates are implemented properly, the employer likely has the right to ask for vaccination status. There is a balance of interests between safety/health initiatives and privacy. Still, the legal opinion suggests it is reasonable for the employer to ask for vaccination status to implement that vaccine mandate.
There is no requirement for the employer to share others’ vaccination status. Enforcement of the vaccine mandate rests with the employers, which is why they have taken steps to verify vaccination status. Both employers also have a mask mandate in place, and everyone must follow Public Health orders relating to COVID-19 safety measures.
Advise your supervisor right away if this happens. Both employers have Respectful Work and Learning Environment policies that forbid harassment and discrimination. AESES has spoken with senior administration at the UM specifically on this issue and has been assured this will be addressed. Regardless of opinion, everyone has a right to come to a workplace free of harassment and discrimination.
At the UM, members must provide proof of vaccination or be subject to frequent rapid testing. At this point, anyone failing to adhere to the mandate will be denied access to campus and members will likely be placed on an unpaid leave.
At the UW, unvaccinated members (excluding those with accommodation situations) will be denied access to campus and placed on unpaid leave.
Talk to your supervisor, and they should help find a solution; potential solutions could include having duties reassigned, working overtime if authorized, and having your supervisor prioritize your workload. There should be no use of “flex time” or unpaid time to get work completed in all cases.
If your supervisor cannot help, then contact the AESES Business Office for further guidance.
Start by speaking to your supervisor about your concerns. If this does not address the concerns adequately, then move on to the local safety committee. Additionally, you can also contact the AESES Business Office for further guidance.
The accommodations that were put in place throughout the pandemic are still in place now. The employer is required to consider all reasonable requests and attempt to find a resolution which may include allowing you to perform your duties remotely. Where an accommodation may not be possible, a leave of absence might be pursued.
This arrangement is something you should discuss with your supervisor. The UW has pilot remote work guidelines (uwinnipeg.ca/hr/remote-work.html), and the UM is currently developing limited flexible work guidelines with hopes to share them in early 2022.
Each university is ensuring that Manitoba Public Health Orders are being followed and respected. Each university can also add other restrictions as they deem necessary for their area.
UM: The wearing of 3-ply reusable or disposable masks is mandatory for all activities on all UM campuses. This applies when indoors at all times on UM campuses even when physical distancing is possible. A 3-ply mask is also required when outdoors on UM campuses or while participating in UM-sanctioned activities off-campus at any time when two metres distancing is not possible.
UW: Faculty, staff, and students who are attending campus will be expected to wear masks when occupying indoor public spaces — including classrooms, labs, study areas, washroom, lobbies, hallways, and student residence common areas. Masks are not mandatory in individual office spaces, except when physical distancing is