Today many staff and faculty heaved a sigh of relief as St. Lawrence College announced (via email) that all students, faculty, employees, and visitors attending our campuses or workspaces must be fully vaccinated (barring legitimate exemption). No doubt many students and families share in our relief.
As other colleges and universities began announcing their vaccination policies earlier this month, many of our members expressed a desire for a similar mandatory vaccination policy at SLC. Your Local Executive Committee has consistently brought this message to meetings and conversations with both management and Joint Health and Safety Committees. Your voice was heard.
In a recent survey sent out by Local 417, 82% of faculty and counsellors (of 103 respondents) indicated that they supported mandatory vaccination for access to SLC campuses. However, your Local Executive Committee also recognizes that 12% of survey respondents supported the college’s earlier policy of encouraging rather than mandating vaccinations, while the remaining respondents were Not Sure/Undecided (2%) and Other (2%). It is reasonable that some of us might have concerns regarding privacy, human rights, civil liberties, and discrimination. It is also reasonable that some of us might question the college’s motivation for this new policy–Is it about protecting us or protecting the college? These are important and valid concerns, and your Local Executive will continue to listen and act on your behalf on these matters, as we have done throughout the pandemic.
Your concerns, questions, and comments are important to us. We encourage you all to stay engaged with your Local and ask that you encourage others to do the same. Undoubtably, navigating return to work and remote responsibilities over the coming weeks will generate a number of questions and possible concerns. As we move forward together through yet another atypical semester start-up, your Local Executive Committee will continue to ask you for your feedback so that we can accurately represent and meet the needs of our membership. We will also continue to share important information with you via social media, our website, and personal email. Please ensure you have signed up to receive this information.
As always, feel free to reach out to any member of your Local Executive Committee. Not sure who we are? Visit our website: slcfaculty.ca