Hamilton City Council votes to keep City’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Verification Policy in place
HAMILTON, ON – After being presented at last week’s General Issues Committee (GIC) with a staff recommendation report to suspend the City’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Verification Policy, Hamilton City Council today voted to keep the policy in place.
The City’s policy, which will continue to apply to all employees, including full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, casual and new hires, volunteers, Council members, members of Council-appointed committees and students, will remain in effect, including the requirement that staff provide proof of vaccination or participate in the Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) program as an ongoing condition of employment or face termination if they fail to provide evidence of vaccination by May 31, 2022.
The City implemented its policy in August 2021, and amended it further this past January to include termination of employment for employees who fail to disclose their status as fully vaccinated by May 31, 2022.
The City’s Senior Leadership Team recommended at last week’s GIC that the policy be suspended (except for new hires) based on the changing COVID-19 conditions and the province ending most of their mandated public health measures (except in higher-risk settings) over the past couple of months. Staff, with guidance from Hamilton Public Health Services, will continue to monitor the COVID-19 conditions in the community, and revisit the policy with Council in future should that be required.
Throughout the pandemic, the City of Hamilton has been steadfastly committed to supporting the health and safety of the broader community and providing a safe working environment for our employees, volunteers and students. Ensuring high rates of vaccination remains one of the most important ways we can protect our community. I want to sincerely thank the thousands of City employees who chose to become fully vaccinated. Your selfless efforts to help minimize the impact of the virus on our community have not gone unnoticed and are sincerely appreciated. We remain committed to promoting the benefits of all public health measures to help protect against the virus, including getting vaccinated and staying up-to-date with vaccines, including third and fourth doses when available.Mayor Fred Eisenberger
It's important that the City of Hamilton continue to balance responding to changes in the COVID-19 environment with continuing to protect the health, safety and wellbeing our employees and the public we serve, and we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 conditions in the community, and revisit the policy as an organization in the future should that be required. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the 94% of employees who chose, to date, to fully vaccinate to protect themselves, their loved ones and the community – your actions are sincerely appreciated as we continue to navigate our way through the evolution of the pandemic.Janette Smith, City Manager