Ontario Human Rights Commission - policy statement on COVID-19 vaccine mandates and proof of vaccine certificates

Unifor ANti-Racism Forum

Hi everyone!

​This is Peycke, the Racial Justice Liaison for Ontario, and it is really happening; the Anti-Racism forums hosted by Unifor is starting next week! I have reached out to some of you either by email or phone call in the past few weeks and if you have not done already, please spread the words to your local member to register for these forums! 

They are across Canada and everyone can register, except the first one next Saturday afternoon on Sept 18, that is for AWOC/BIPOC only. The first 3 start next week!! Follow the link to register!!


The two in Ontario are 

Saturday Sept 18, 1-5pm (AWOC/BIPOC ONLY)


Saturday Oct 16, 1-5pm


Take care and we will see you all at the forum!!

In Sol. 

Peycke Roan

Ontario Racial Justice Liaison with Unifor

Human Rights Department

The head of Canada’s largest private sector union is challenging other labour leaders to be “more honest” with their members and to support COVID-19 vaccine mandates.


In an interview with the Star, Unifor president Jerry Dias said it was disingenuous for unions to push back against vaccine mandates by employers when the overwhelming weight of medical and legal arguments are stacked against them.

“Unions need to be more honest. Our lawyers have checked this thing out. And the bottom line is if an employer comes out with a mandatory vaccination policy, unless you have a bona fide medical reason … it will be deemed legitimate for the employer to demand mandatory vaccinations,” said Dias.

“I’m not going to say to our members, ‘If you don’t wanna take it, screw it, we’ll take ’em on.’ Because I know if I take ’em on, I’ll lose. So if I’m telling people not to get vaccinated or don’t worry about it, and they get fired? They’ll stay fired,” Dias added.

Supporting vaccine mandates, said Dias, is also a way of honouring union members who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

“I’ve had PSWs, I’ve had homecare workers, I’ve had warehouse workers who’ve died. So am I supposed to take a cavalier attitude toward the fact my members, essential workers, have lost their lives on the front lines? I’m going to honour their lives by doing the right thing,” Dias said.

In recent weeks, several high-profile unions have come out against mandatory COVID vaccination policies announced by their members’ employers, including the TTC and Toronto Police Service. Many hospitals have also instituted similar policies.

Tuesday, Amalgamated Transit Union 113 president Carlos Santos described the TTC’s new policy as an “unfair and unjust intrusions into the lives of our members.”

“Whether vaccinated or not, we are asking all members to not disclose any private medical information to the TTC,” said Santos in a written statement, adding that the union isn’t opposed to vaccines.

Toronto Police Association president Jon Reid was heavily critical of the TPS’s August announcement that it was requiring members of the force to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The TPA must make every effort to protect all of our members and, therefore, does not support this mandatory vaccination announcement or mandatory disclosure,” Reid said.

Dias said he was especially baffled by the ATU’s position.

“I really don’t understand that. I represent bus drivers. And one thing I know about bus drivers is that they’re nervous. They know that they are in contact with people who have not been vaccinated, they’re in contact with people who have COVID. So they are nervous. They want to go to work safe. So suggesting somehow that a bus driver should not get vaccinated, to me makes no sense,” said Dias, who added that he’s come under criticism from some Unifor members for the union’s stance. Not that he particularly cares.

“You never listen to the loudest three per cent. The bottom line is that they’re not speaking for the majority. And so I don’t get caught up in listening to the last person that yelled at me. We take a position that we think is responsible,” said Dias.

Veteran labour and employment lawyer John Craig suggested that some unions might not be specifically against vaccine mandates, but are concerned about the mandates becoming the thin edge of the wedge from employers seeking more private information from their workers.

“I think there’s probably some concern about setting a precedent,” said Craig, a partner at Mathews Dinsdale & Clark, as well as a labour and employment lecturer at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

While collective agreements differ from workplace to workplace, Craig said unions pushing back against vaccine mandates would likely be on the losing side if they ended up in a court fight.

“These policies are largely based on the occupational health and safety obligations of an employer to create a safe workplace. I think that courts would be likely to decide that it’s a reasonable policy,” said Craig.

Some of his corporate clients, said Craig, have decided to accommodate employees who have decided not to be vaccinated, albeit with consequences, such as losing out on paid sick leave or medical benefits if they get infected with COVID.

But Craig cautioned that employees could face harsher consequences, depending on a company’s policies.

“If an employee is choosing not to share information, that’s wilful non-compliance with a company policy. There will be consequences,” said Craig.

Still, though, the speed at which courts, human rights and labour tribunals move could well mean that any legal rulings are moot by the time they’re made, Craig added.

“That litigation could take a long, long time. Let’s hope that by then the pandemic will be over,” Craig said.


Unifor National Executive Board

Statement on Comprehensive Workplace Immunization Programs and Mandatory Vaccinations

Please click the file below to view:

To:                     All Unifor Members/ All Local Unions/ Woman’s, LGBTQ, Young Workers, Workers with Disabilities,

                          Aboriginal Workers and Workers of Colour, Human Rights Committees.

From:               Christine Maclin Human Rights Department Director

Date:                September 9th, 2021

Subject:           Racial Justice Regional Forums


Unifor will be hosting seven forums to bring together Union leadership, activists, employers and community organizations to foster new ideas, partnerships and connections, as well as to create tools, strategies, and policies for racial justice – in our locals, workplaces and communities. These forums are a part of the Federal Government Anti-Racism Action Program grant that Unifor was accepted for in 2020. Unifor strongly believes that it is critical for us to unite, learn and support each other and collaborate in an effort to dismantle and eliminate racism and build a truly anti-racist labour movement and world. These events will be hosted in each region by one of our five Racial Justice Liaisons.  Each event is unique, consisting of panel discussions, guest speakers and breakout rooms for all of us to be able to converse, share perspectives and ideas that will contribute to this work.

This event is open to all. However, we are sending invitations to key allies and partners who we believe will find this conversation useful in their own work. We all need to be a part of the solution to combat racism. We will be compiling tools, practices, resources and identify paths towards racial justice for working people. Join us and be a part of the change.

Event Information and Registration

Ontario Racial Justice Forum: Lessons for Taking on Racism | Forum de l’Ontario pour la justice sociale : Leçons retenues pour lutter contre le racisme

Sep 18, 2021 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Registration Link: https://unifor.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIvd-CqqDsiEtMoUCxtSVd6jIege1KYO82a


Pandemic Pay for Unifor Health Care Workers

Q&A: Premier Ford and Pandemic Pay – Please click the file below to view

Additionally, follow the web link below to Unifor National page for more infomation

Unifor mourns the loss of the 215 children found on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory who perished in the custody of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The discovery confirms what community survivors have said for decades—hundreds of children went to the school and never returned home. This is true of at least 6,000 Indigenous children who attended residential schools across the country.

The mass grave is a horrific reminder of the scale of the colonial violence that still haunts survivors and their families today.

Canada is far from done reconciling its murderous history of residential schools. Reconciliation is important for being accountable to both Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and all communities and families that are affected.

Unifor supports the call of Indigenous leaders for a nationwide probe of former residential school sites. The federal government must ensure Indigenous communities have the resources to find answers about missing children as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s “Missing Children’s Project”.

Unifor understands that solidarity is the key to truth and reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Metis people in Canada. Unifor is committed to using its bargaining power, mobilizing power, and political power to bring about transformative change.

What Unifor members can do:

  1. Unifor supports the 94 recommendations issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They are an urgent call to action for government and organizations to take meaningful action on a many outstanding issues, ranging from protecting language and culture to education to ensuring justice for the victims of residential school violence.
    Contact your Member of Parliament and demand they be a vocal supporter of the 94 Calls to Action within their caucus and to government.
  2. Add to Unifor’s $10,000 donation to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation to build community solidarity and support:

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc
200-330 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Kamloops BC, V2H 1H1

  1. Add to Unifor’s existing sponsorship of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) “Honouring the Gifts—MKO Youth Cultural Celebration” youth arts festival beginning June 21 (National Indigenous Peoples Day) and carrying through to June 25.
  2. Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
  3. Participate in Indigenous History Month, which starts Tuesday. Unifor is coordinating action and activities across the country to fight for truth and reconciliation. Visit org/ihm2021 to find out more.
  4. Learn more by participating in Unifor’s Turtle Island webinar series. Next session: “Honouring Treaty Rights” Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
  5. Encourage support, by those who are able to, for local and regional organizations, programs or initiatives to engage in active reconciliation with Indigenous people.
  6. With all of your efforts, please amplify Indigenous voices in your community.

Whichever action you take, please share your work with the National Office and on social media so others can follow our example to do their part in reconciliation.

View the statement on our website here.


Frequently asked questions (faq) on ontario covid-19 worker income protection benefit

Due to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on workers, program support
criteria are subject to change. Be sure to visit www.unifor.org/covid19 to download updated versions of this
fact sheet.

Note: On February 19, 2021, the federal government announced proposed legislative and regulatory
changes that would increase the number of weeks of benefits available for the Canada Recovery Benefit

(CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits

On April 29, 2021, the Government of Ontario passed legislation mandating that employers provide
employees with paid sick leave under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit. The program
entitles workers to take up to three days of paid sick leave at up to $200 per day in wages, if they are:

going for a COVID-19 test or staying home awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test

sick with COVID-19

advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19 by an employer, medical practitioner or other authority

going to get vaccinated or recovering from vaccination side-effect

taking care of a dependent who is:

sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19

self-isolating due to COVID-19

getting vaccinated or recovering from vaccination side-effect

These temporary measures, referred to as ‘infectious disease emergency leave pay’, will be retroactive to April
19, 2021 and will end on September 25, 2021.

This FAQ document aims to provide Unifor members with the most up to date answers we have on frequently
asked questions about Ontario’s temporary paid sick leave measures.

If I already have paid sick leave as part of my current collective agreement or employment contract, will I
get an additional three days of paid sick days?

No, you will be topped up to three days of paid sick leave if you have one or two days of paid sick leave under
your current employment contract. Any workers who already have three or more days of paid sick leave will
not be covered by the new paid sick leave measures.

What if I have to take more than three days of sick leave? Can I continue to take sick leave for as long as I
am ill or for other reasons related to COVID-19?

Yes, employees are currently entitled to take unpaid sick leave under Ontario’s infectious disease emergency
leave measures, which allows workers to take unpaid sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19 without fear
of reprisal or dismissal by their employers.

If I take unpaid sick leave after my three days of paid sick leave, can I apply for compensation through the
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)?

Only if the unpaid sick days fall within a one-week period during which you received no paid sick days.
Unfortunately, the current CRSB rules do not allow you to apply for the CRSB for days that fall within a week
when you received paid leave from your employer.
For example, if you were ill all week and took paid sick leave from Monday to Wednesday, you would not be
eligible to be compensated through the CRSB for any unpaid leave taken on Thursday and Friday. Any days of
unpaid sick leave taken the following week would be eligible for the CRSB.

Will I need a sick note to prove to my employer that I was absent for reasons related to COVID-19?

Employers cannot ask you for a sick note or medical certificate from a nurse or doctor to prove that you were
eligible for sick leave (whether paid or unpaid), but may require you to provide ‘evidence reasonable in the
circumstances’, which is determined on a case-by-case basis. Examples include a printout or screenshot of
information issued by a public health official advising quarantine/self-isolation or a copy of an order to self

For more information, please refer to the province’s infectious disease emergency leave information.

What if I take a few hours off from work to get vaccinated? Will my paid sick leave only apply to the hours I
am absent from work?

Under the paid sick leave legislation, taking part of a day counts as taking a full day of leave. In other words, if
you only take a few hours from work for vaccination or any other COVID-19 related reason, you are considered
to have taken a full paid day of sick leave.


I make less than $200 a day. What will my employer pay me if I take sick days under these new measures?

If you make less than $200 a day, you will be paid your regular wages for the day, not including any overtime
that would have otherwise been paid.

I make more than $200 a day. Is my employer required to pay me my full wages for the day if I take sick
leave under these new measures?

No, employers are only obligated to pay up to $200 per day for any days of sick leave taken under the new

 Your employer may elect to pay you more, but the maximum amount they can be reimbursed by
the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is $200 per day.

I earn part of my pay from tips and/or commissions. Will the paid sick leave measures cover what I usually
earn from these sources?

No, the paid sick leave measures will only cover your base wages.

I work as a freelancer and/or independent contractor. Am I covered by this new program?

No, the legislation implementing the program only applies to individuals defined as ‘employees’ under
Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), which does not include independent contractors or freelancers.
However, as a freelancer or independent contractor, you are eligible to apply for the Canada Recovery Sickness
Benefit (CRSB).

If I took unpaid sick leave on or after April 19, 2021 for reasons related to COVID-19, but before the
legislation was enacted on April 29, am I still eligible for the three days of paid sick leave?

Yes, but you must inform your employer in writing by May 13, 2021 that you intend to take those days as paid
sick leave.

What if I am called in for a shift at the last minute but cannot work for reasons related to COVID-19? Will I
be eligible for paid sick leave?

If you were scheduled by the employer for a shift and were then unavailable to work due to reasons related to
COVID-19, yes, you are eligible. If the employer simply called you to see if you were available to work that day,
no, you are not eligible for paid sick leave.

How much notice am I required to give my employer in order to take paid sick leave? For example, am
I eligible for paid sick leave if I elect to attend a pop-up vaccination clinic that is announced at the last

There is no requirement to give your employer a specific amount of notice to take paid sick leave under the
new measures. However, you must inform your employer that you are unavailable to work for COVID-19
related reasons as soon as you can.


Who can I contact for more information?

You can call the designated Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Information Centre at

For more COVID-19 related worker support information, visit www.unifor.org/covid19
Prepared by Unifor



Unifor Ontario Regional Council Thanks Essential Workers


A year ago, when our lives and jobs suddenly changed, we were inspired by just how quickly workers banded together to support one another, and keep each other safe.

Your Ontario Regional Council executive is grateful for the essential workers who are carrying us through this pandemic. We think this appreciation should be shared with all members and with workers across the province, union or non-union.

That’s why today, we’re launching a new video that spreads that message, and we want you to see it first.

Watch on Facebook.       Watch on Twitter.           Watch on YouTube.

After watching, share this video with an essential worker in your life to show your appreciation for their work.

Your union is working hard to maintain up-to-date information on COVID-19 including public health efforts, health and safety, and income supports. Visit the Unifor COVID-19 Information and Resources page to stay informed.

As we enter yet another province-wide lockdown, your union is still keeping our foot on the gas and holding the Ford’s conservatives to account.

The fact is that the Ontario Government can and must do more to keep workers and our families safe.

The burden and harm of this pandemic is not being felt evenly, as some sectors remain decimated and shuttered, and as essential workers face workplace spread of the virus and new, more deadly, variants.

We are grateful for all essential workers, and that is why we fight for a ramped-up vaccine distribution, stronger workplace protections, and paid sick days for all workers.

You can add your name to the call for paid sick days as well. Please sign the petition today.

So once again, to Ontario’s essential workers, thank you. Unifor will continue to fight for you.


In solidarity,

Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director
Scott McILmoyle, Chairperson
Tullio DiPonti, Secretary-Treasurer
Tim McKinnon, Member at Large
James Stewart, Member at Large
Debbie Montgomery, Member at Large
Jamie Martinez, Member at Large
Jim Fling, Member at Large
Lisa Tucker, Member at Large
Carleen Finch, Member at Large

 Ontario Regional Council Executive


Unifor Local 27 Does not have a Facebook Page. All Facebook pages that reference Unifor Local 27 are private pages and the Content & Comments  posted are not necessarily the opinions of Unifor Local 27 but rather of the individual administrators of those pages.

Notice for all Unifor Local 27 RPNs


It’s my pleasure to let you know that the Executive Board of Local 27 has approved a plan to reimburse Local 27 RPNs 10% off their membership into WeRPN (formerly RPNAO, Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario). This new initiative will begin with the new membership year for WeRPN that starts in July 2020.

We think this is an important initiative and encourage all RPNs to visit the WeRPN website at www.werpn.com to look at what the membership has to offer nurses. This protection is available if you are involved with disputes or claims with CNO and require advise and representation which your employer or union may not be able to provide directly. One of the most important components of the Membership includes the professional liability protection insurance, with a $1,000,000 limit for each loss per nurse and $3,000,000 limit for all losses per year per nurse. It provides protection against malpractice claims arising from real or alleged errors or omissions, including negligence. As a member you are covered for the following: subpoenaed to appear before a legally constituted tribunal in Ontario; subpoenaed to appear as a witness in matters arising out of the Regulated Health Professional Act (1991) and any amending or superseding legislation; subpoenaed to appear as a witness in an incident relating to his/her profession of nursing; received a letter of complaint from the College of Nurses of Ontario as a result of a complaint, laid under Regulated Health Professions Act (1991) and any amending or superseding Legislation.

As your representatives we were shocked to learn that we would not be able to represent you if you had to appear before the Ontario College of Nurses should you be charged with any type of professional misconduct. Nursing as a profession is rewarding, we think it’s important that you look at becoming a member of WeRPN and want as a union to show our appreciation for the work that you do and provide you with this rebate to assist and enable you in your own practice.

Please fill out the form below to apply for your WeRPN 10% before tax rebate. Be sure to include a copy of your July 1st, 2020 to June 30th, 2021 membership receipt / transaction details.  Your rebate will be sent to you by mail, so please allow some time for processing – Your patience is much appreciated. Please note, this offer is only available to Unifor Local 27 RPNs.

In Solidarity,

Brian Chapman

President Local 27

*Important Note: If you have difficulty uploading your WeRPN membership receipt / transaction details through the below form, please send all required info & file to the following email address –  jim.wilkes@local27.ca

College of Nurses #
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Please attach your WeRPN membership receipt / transaction details here. File size limit 32 MB. Files accepted .png / .gif / .jpg / .doc / .pdf

Mental Health Resources: We’re in this together


Due to the outbreak of COVID-19

As per the directive from our National Union, the Local 27 offices will be closed to the public until further notice.

If you require assistance please contact us by phone or email as listed below.

Brian Chapman, President:

                E: brian.chapman@local27.ca

                Phone: 519-455-3430 Ext 222

                Cell: 519-319-3657

Jim Wilkes, Financial Secretary:

                E: jim.wilkes@local27.ca

                Phone: 519-455-3430 Ext 223

                Cell: 519-868-4066

Jim Kennedy, 1st Vice President:

                E: jim.kennedy@local27.ca

                Phone: 519-455-3430 Ext 229

                Cell: 519-697-0360

 Tracy Holmes, VP Healthcare:

                E: tracy.holmes@local27.ca

                Phone: 519-455-3430 ext 225


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