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
SGEU offices are open
All SGEU offices are open and accepting meeting planners for space bookings. Many (but not all) in-person meetings also offer hybrid models for virtual participation.
SGEU asks all visitors to help keep our offices safe and stay home when feeling unwell. Our offices are mask-friendly and we encourage everyone to wash their hands. Please continue to support local businesses. Take care of yourselves, each other and our community. And don’t forget about vaccination boosters!