February 17, 2022
NUVAXOVID APPROVED BY HEALTH CANADA
AND LWOP GRIEVANCES UPDATES
Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canadians aged 18 and older by Health Canada.
The Union is encouraged by the recent approval by Health Canada to approve Nuvaxovid in Canada. We know there are members off on leave without pay (LWOP), or potentially may go on to LWOP at the end of the month, who have been waiting for this vaccine specifically as it is the first protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in Canada. Having access to Novavax may be the difference between being able to work or not while the grievance process is under way.
The group grievance expedited arbitration is proceeding, and an arbiter has been selected to hear the LWOP status arguments. The Union expects the LWOP group grievance case to be heard on March 7th to 11th, 2022. The policy grievance has been advanced to arbitration with hearing dates set for October 24th to 26th, 2022. Local Presidents continue to seek information regarding who is on LWOP to file individual grievances at Step 2 in addition to the group grievance as it relates to employment status.
The ability for individuals to have a vaccine of their choosing in Canada is a significant one and the BC Ferry & Marine Workers’ Union is glad to see more options available for our membership with the recent approval of Novavax in 2022 and Johnson & Johnson in late 2021.
Reminder for those who are not in compliance with the BC Ferries current Vaccine Mandate Policy.
First 60 days: Employees not in compliance shall be placed on LWOP with their status reviewed within sixty (60) days, or earlier if they advise the Company they are in compliance. Employees who are on a LWOP will have their health and welfare benefits and seniority maintained for a period of 60 days
Beyond 60 days: Employee status will be reviewed. Following the 60-day period, employees will have the option of maintaining their health and welfare benefits at their own cost. An employee’s service, group and recall seniority will be adjusted for the periods of leave of 60 days or more.