October Newsletter – Mandatory Vaccination Policy (MVP)

Sent on behalf of the President, Thomas Andersson

Please forward to any Opseu member in your area that was missed from this email.  Thank you

Voices United

A Newsletter from OPSEU Local 500

SPECIAL EDITION #2 – Mandatory Vaccination Policy

Dear Sisters, Brothers and Members of OPSEU Local 500,

As of Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 CAMH staff who have not received either one or both doses of the COVID – 19 vaccine will be put on unpaid leaves of absence.  If you are impacted by these actions of the employer, please reach out to the office immediately, and we will file a grievance on your behalf.  The employer has not yet determined how long these unpaid leaves will last.  If while on an unpaid leave, our members change their minds and get vaccinated.  After receiving a first dose of vaccine, members working on site or off site can return to work, while continuing to do Rapid Antigen testing until another 14 days after the 2nd vaccine dose.

The Local filed a policy grievance on the Employer’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy on Sept 22nd, 2021.  On Tuesday, October 12th a Step 2 meeting was held with the Employer.  Unfortunately, the Local does not expect the Employer to rescind or change their Mandatory Vaccination Policy at this time.  The Local has sent the grievance to be scheduled for an arbitration hearing. 

The Local has been supporting members since this policy was announced by the Employer.  For example, we have attended several meetings with members who have been seeking exemptions based on religion and creed.  Where members have been denied, grievances have been filed.

The Local was advised today that our members will not be able to access any of their banked time to cover missing pay during the time when they are on unpaid leaves of absence.  The Local will be filing a policy grievance on this.

The Employer will not be issuing Records of Employment to our members who are placed on unpaid leaves of absence.  However, we encourage you to apply for EI benefits, using the link below.


Region 5, the geographic region of the province Local 500 is in has a hardship fund for members experiencing financial hardship.  The application form is in the link below.

I recognize none of this is good news for our brothers and sisters and members who have chosen not to be vaccinated at this time.  The Executive is continuing to push back on the employer to change or rescind their Mandatory Vaccination Policy.  We will continue to support members by filing grievances for them, attending meetings and in any other way we can.

I am in such awe of all the heroic efforts our members have made during this very long pandemic, in challenging circumstances.  For this you have my deepest respect and gratitude.

In Solidarity


Thomas Andersson, President
1001 Queen Street West Unit 1, B-2A, 416 535-8501 x32330
Thomas.Andersson@camh.ca  / OPSEU.Local500@camh.ca

Tony Ivanoff, Vice-President
100 Stokes Street, 3rd floor – 416 535-8501 x34935

Chantelle D’Mello, Lead Steward
1001 Queen Street West, Unit 1 B-2A  416 535-8501 x33217
Chantelle.Dmello@camh.ca / OPSEU.Local500@camh.ca

Robert Edgar, Treasurer
100 Stokes Street, 6th floor 416 535-8501 x33277

About opseulocal500

Union office Unit 1, B-2A, (Basement, room 2A), Queen Street West Site 1001 Queen Street West Toronto, ON M6J 1H4 Tel: 416 535-8501 x32330 Fax: 416-583-1254 Email: OPSEU.Local500@camh.ca
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