At least 1,000 City of Toronto employees are unvaccinated ahead of mandatory mandate taking effect
The exterior of City Hall in downtown Toronto is seen. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
TORONTO -- More than 1,000 City of Toronto employees are unvaccinated and thousands of others are yet to complete a disclosure form ahead of a new vaccination policy taking effect later this month.
The City of Toronto says that 88 per cent of those who filled out a vaccine disclosure form as of Friday – nearly 24,000 employees - were fully vaccinated with another five per cent partially vaccinated.
But it says that about eight per cent were either unvaccinated (1,006 employees) or refused to disclose their status (783 employees).
The City of Toronto has said that all of its employees must receive at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 30 and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30.
“I am encouraged that such a high number of city employees have already made the right decision for themselves, our community and our workplaces by getting vaccinated. This policy is the right thing to do to protect the health and safety of all City of Toronto employees,” Mayor John Tory said in a press release accompanying the data. “We know that vaccines are the most effective way to protect against the fourth wave and Delta variant so we can end this pandemic and reopen our city."
City of Toronto employees had until Friday to complete a mandatory disclosure form on their vaccine status after the deadline was pushed back by a week amind concerns that some frontline workers without access to computers needed more time.
The city says that about 87 per cent of employees met the revised deadline.
However roughly 3,500 employees still haven’t submitted the disclosure form, leaving some questions around just how many workers are likely to run afoul of the new policy.
The city has said that all employees who are not complaint will have to complete a mandatory training session on vaccines “starting this week.”
At this point it remains unclear what will happen to employees who choose to remain unvaccinated past Sept. 30 but Tory has said that ‘no option will be off the table’ when it comes to enforcing the policy.
“The City of Toronto has a duty as an employer to do everything that it can to ensure that our work environment is safe for all of our employees,” he said at a news conference announcing the policy last month.
The city previously announced plans earlier this month to have some of its roughly 10,000 employees that have been working at home since the beginning of the pandemic begin to return to their workplaces as part of a “safe and gradual” return.
The TTC is also mandating vaccination for its employees but has given employees until the end of today to disclose their status.
About 84.5 per cent of eligible Toronto residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 79 per cent are fully vaccinated.