If your employer is unreasonable in their application of the policy, SGEU will advocate for policies to be changed to be reasonable. As an example, if you were unable to be fully vaccinated from the time your policy rolls out to the time that discipline would apply, we will challenge your employer on that basis.
If you are seeking exemption from vaccination on a protected ground, you will likely still require negative testing. It is vital that you reach out to SGEU if your request for accommodation is denied.
Legislation requiring proof of vaccination
On October 1st, The Public Employers’ COVID-19 Emergency Regulations came into effect. These regulations provide the legal foundation for proof-of-vaccination requirements in the Saskatchewan public service, government agencies, and Crown corporations.
The regulations establish the requirement for workers to either:
- be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination at the employer’s request, or
- to provide negative results from an approved COVID-19 test at least once a week, and – unless the employer agrees otherwise – for those tests taken on the worker’s own time at their own expense.
The regulations make vaccination or regular testing a part of employers’ and workers’ obligations under the Saskatchewan Employment Act. For workers, they refer specifically to section 3-10(a), which requires every worker to “take reasonable care to protect his or her health and safety and the health and safety of other workers who may be affected by his or her acts or omissions.”
Note that these regulations do not apply to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, or the regional colleges. However, there are virtually identical regulations – The Employers’ COVID-19 Emergency Regulations – that apply to all to other employers, including public agencies employing SGEU members.
For employers outside of the public service, government agencies, and the Crowns, the regulations are not mandatory. However, all employers have the option to require their employees to provide proof of vaccination or submit regular negative test results. If your employer chooses to do so, you are legally obliged to comply (unless you are exempt for medical or other reasons.)
SGEU obtained a legal opinion about employers' rights to require members to be vaccinated.
The Alberta Federation of Labour released a legal opinion regarding mandatory workplace COVID vaccination policies.
Statements on Mandatory Vaccinations
The National Union of Public and General Employees released its statement on mandatory vaccinations. Click here to read the statement.
Concerns at Work
If you have concerns or require information about COVID-19 in your workplace, please start by speaking with your supervisor.
If you have concerns or additional questions that are not being addressed by your workplace supervisor, please contact your local Steward or one of our SGEU labour relations officers.
Information from the Government of Saskatchewan
Information from the Government of Canada
World Health Organization
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
SGEU Takes Action
For news and recent updates, visit our Newsroom here.
For news and updates from NUPGE, visit their website here.
SGEU Offices remain open
All visitors to SGEU offices or attendees at SGEU events and meetings will be required to provide their meeting host with a proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Members who prefer to forgo showing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test should inform their meeting host immediately so that alternate arrangements, such as attending virtually, may be made.
Please note: masking, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning protocols are in place.
Please stay safe. Stay home. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Stay 2 metres apart. Get your vaccine when it's your turn. Continue to support local businesses. Take care of yourselves and each other.