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Health Authorities’ Flu Shot Policies Coming into Effect

  • Bulletin
BCNU continues to encourage members to be vaccinated against influenza as a preventative measure

BCNU has learned that health authorities are starting to remind members of their obligation to receive the flu vaccine.  As per the policy, health care workers must be vaccinated against seasonal influenza or wear a mask at all times during the declared flu season.

BCNU has always opposed mandatory flu vaccinations . We will continue to support our members' right to make personal/professional decisions about whether the flu vaccine is right for them. To achieve that goal, BCNU filed an industry-wide application dispute (IWAD) last fall which has since been referred to arbitration. In the interim, it is very important for members to know that failure to comply may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

 What Members Should Know

  • Familiarize yourself with your employer's flu vaccine policy.
  • You are required to advise your employer whether or not you have been vaccinated. Self-reporting of your influenza vaccine status is through a web-based form; your health authority will advise you how to access the form, which is "secure and confidential".
  • If you choose not to be vaccinated, ensure that you are following your employer's policy.
  • If you cannot wear a mask or receive a vaccination for medical reasons, seek an accommodation. If your request is denied, file a grievance.
  • If wearing a mask interferes with your ability to do your job, ask for an exception to the policy.  If your request is denied, file a grievance.
  • If you have an adverse reaction from a flu vaccine or from wearing a mask, complete an incident report and make a claim with WorkSafeBC.
  • Take other precautions to prevent influenza including washing your hands and staying home if you are sick.
  • Inform your steward if your employer is not enforcing the immunization policy consistently. For example, not requiring all unvaccinated staff and visitors to wear a mask 

Mask Wearing and the Potential for Violence in the Workplace

  • BCNU is asking members to conduct point-of-care risk assessments prior to patient interaction in order to identify the potential for violence created by wearing a mask. Stop if a task is unsafe and speak with your manager or supervisor. If unresolved, use your right to refuse unsafe work.

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