More than 500 City of Toronto staff on unpaid suspension for not complying with vaccination policy

Click to play video: 'Metrolinx loses bus routes due to COVID-19 vaccine mandate'
Metrolinx loses bus routes due to COVID-19 vaccine mandate
WATCH ABOVE: (Nov. 1) Metrolinx has scaled back bus service in Toronto and the Greater Hamilton Area due to non-compliance with the organization’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. As Morganne Campbell reports, there’s concern the non-compliance could trickle down, impacting rail service. – Nov 1, 2021

More than 500 City of Toronto staff members are now on unpaid suspension for not complying with the City’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.

City officials provided an update on the vaccination status of employees in a news release Friday.

As of Thursday, 515 staff members have been suspended, marking an increase of 136 since Nov. 10.

Eighty-five employees are on a leave of absence as accommodation requests are reviewed, marking a drop of 16.

The statement said that 97 per cent of the active workforce — 31,074 employees — reported they are fully vaccinated, marking an increase of 491 since Nov. 10.

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There are 587 staff members partially vaccinated, while 234 individuals have reported not receiving any doses.

Of staff who completed the vaccine disclosure form, 134 chose to not disclose their status; 164 employees have not completed the form.

Overall, 99.5 per cent of employees have completed the vaccination disclosure form, officials said.

The statement said that since Nov. 1, managers and supervisors have been holding meetings with staff who haven’t received any doses or have not disclosed their status.

“Following the meeting with the manager or supervisor, staff determined not compliant with the policy have been placed on suspension for a maximum of six weeks,” the statement said.

“After the period of unpaid suspension, starting on Monday, Dec. 13, staff members who do not provide proof of receiving both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, will have their employment terminated for cause, as they will have chosen not to comply with the vaccination policy.”

Officials said meetings for those who have reported receiving one dose will begin the week of Nov. 28, as it allows for at least four weeks for them to receive a second shot.

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Recreation classes cancelled due to staffing shortage

Due to the vaccination policy resulting staffing shortages, 101 recreation programs are being cancelled for the last four weeks of fall, officials added.

There are 6,400 programs still running.

“Mitigation efforts have been successful for many instructional programs and no Learn to Skate or Learn to Swim programs will be cancelled,” the statement said.

“After-school Recreation Care programs are also not impacted.”

Those affected by the cancellations will receive refunds.

Officials said they do not anticipate impacts to emergency services as a result of the mandate.


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