Faculty association urges University of Winnipeg to mandate vaccinations

The University of Winnipeg. Getty Images

The University of Winnipeg Faculty Association says that all staff, students and faculty should be fully vaccinated before stepping foot on campus.

The university’s faculty association made the recommendations Tuesday afternoon.

The motion, which saw 86 union members vote in favour, three vote against and one abstain, came during a two-hour meeting Monday.

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None of the post-secondary institutions in Manitoba have mandated the use of masks or require their staff and students to be fully vaccinated to attend classes on campus.

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However, other schools in Canada have already done so.

Tuesday, the University of Ottawa said all students and staff had to be vaccinated, where before, it was students living in residence and athletes only.

“Considering the ongoing risks posed by COVID-19 and its dangerous variants, the University of Ottawa will now require COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors who intend to access the uOttawa campus on or after September 7, 2021 (1st dose) and October 15, 2021 (2nd dose),” the university said in a statement.

“Requiring mandatory vaccination will help in keeping our community safe and contribute to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.”

Seneca College in Toronto declared that all people on its campus must be double-vaccinated in mid-July.

Most other universities in Canada appear to have declared vaccinations as recommended rather than mandatory, except for athletes and students living on the campus. Some have yet to make an announcement.

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The University of Winnipeg said it is following public health orders.

“We have a robust safety plan in place that includes mandatory masking, enhanced ventilation, and enhanced cleaning. We are following the guidance of Manitoba Shared Health and we are in regular contact with the Manitoba government,” it said.

“We understand that the Faculty Association is discussing these topics and their views will be taken into consideration as we ramp up for a successful resumption of in-person learning this fall.”

Scott Forbes of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA) told Global News last week that he’d like to see mandatory vaccinations set up as a rule for all of the province’s post-secondary institutions, and that doing so shouldn’t present any legal employment issues.

Forbes said more than 400 colleges and universities south of the border have implemented similar rules.

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