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TTC to fire employees who do not get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 31

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The TTC says it will terminate those employees who remain unvaccinated or do not share proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by the end of 2021.

In a notice posted on Friday, the transit agency said those who do not share their vaccination status by the end of the day on Nov. 20 will be placed on unpaid absence until the employee completes their vaccination course.

By Dec. 31, the TTC said their employment will be terminated if no proof of vaccination is given.

“Effective Dec. 31, employees who remain unvaccinated or who have not shared their proof of complete vaccination dosage will have their employment terminated,” the TTC statement read.

Read more: TTC union walks back telling staff not to disclose COVID-19 vaccination status to employer

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However, the TTC said the measures do not apply to employees who have an approved Ontario Human Rights Code accommodation or medical exemption. The TTC added that no decisions have been made yet on how these employees will be accommodated.

Earlier in August, the TTC issued a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. A move that the employee’s union ATU Local 113 did not agree with calling it “unlawful.” The union had allegedly told its members not to disclose their vaccination status in September, but reversed their position a short time later.

ATU Local 113, the union representing thousands of transit workers, maintains that TTC management did not consult the union on its mandatory vaccination policy or provide adequate information. It also said the TTC did not provide reasonable solutions such as regular testing offered as options by other employers.

The union echoed a similar sentiment in a statement Friday afternoon, saying it was renewing its calls for “the TTC to allow regular testing as an alternative to COVID-19 vaccination.”

“We have opposed the TTC’s heavy-handed approach to vaccinations since the announcement of its mandatory vaccine policy. ATU Local 113 remains firm in its belief that getting vaccinated should be the choice of each worker. We will continue to work with the TTC to get as many members vaccinated as possible through education, rather than coercion,” the union continued.

The date for disclosing proof of vaccination was pushed back several times from September, to October then to November.

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“Recognizing that more than 600 employees have received their first vaccine dose in the last few weeks, the deadline to receive two doses (or one dose of a single dose series) has been moved to Nov. 20,” the TTC said.

Read more: TTC prepares for possible worker shortage based on COVID vaccination status disclosure

As of Friday, about 85 per cent of the TTC’s 15,061 employees have shared their vaccination status, the transit agency said. Out of the 85 per cent, 11 per cent have one dose and 89 per cent are fully vaccinated.

“It is unfortunate we have to take these steps” TTC CEO Rick Leary said. “The TTC is an essential service and we need it to be a safe place for everyone. We will be doing everything we can to uphold our core value of safety.”

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