All Selkirk city employees will need to be vaxxed or regularly tested to keep working

·2 min read

The city of Selkirk announced Friday that new city mandates will soon mean all city employees will need to be fully immunized against COVID-19, or submit to regular testing in order to remain working with the city.

In a release, the city of about 11,000 that sits north of Winnipeg said they approved their COVID-19 Vaccination Policy at a Nov. 10 council meeting, and the new rules mean that city employees will have to be vaccinated or submit to regular COVID-19 testing starting on Dec. 22.

The city also said that employees who choose not to be vaccinated or disclose their vaccination status will be responsible to cover the potential costs of Rapid Antigen Testing, which for full-time employees would be required three times per week.

Selkirk CAO Duane Nicol said in a release that the city has implemented the policy because “protecting staff and members of the public against COVID-19 is of the utmost importance.”

“As an employer we have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace. We believe this is a necessary and reasonable precaution,” Nicol said. “We want all employees going home in the same or better condition than they arrived each day.

“On top of that, the services city employees provide are critical. Water and wastewater treatment and snow removal are all examples of critical services that require a healthy municipal workforce. Business continuity is also a top concern.”

Nicol told the Winnipeg Sun on Friday that the city is so far not expecting any non-compliance, but that anyone who did not comply would be deemed unfit for work.

Nicol said the city could not say right now if employees would be paid if they are off work because of the new mandates, but again added he was not expecting any non-compliance issues.

The city added that if in the future Health Canada requires additional measures to fulfill its definition of “fully vaccinated,” including booster shots, Selkirk employees will be expected to comply with the additional measures.

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun

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