While OCUFA faculty and academic librarians are looking forward to resuming in-person teaching, OCUFA recognizes that COVID-19 remains a public health concern especially as cases of the highly contagious Delta variant continue to rise. As part of a comprehensive plan for ensuring the health and safety of campus communities across the province, OCUFA’s Executive is calling on the Ontario government to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy at all Ontario universities for anyone returning to campus this fall for in-person activities. This measure should be coupled with appropriate accommodations provided by institutions to those with valid reasons for requesting an exemption to the policy.
With the rising concerns regarding the spread of the Delta Variant and the other emerging variants of the COVID-19 virus, ensuring a high vaccination rate remains one of the most important and effective ways of protecting public health.
It is essential to note that required vaccination is only part of what is needed for a safe return to campus. The government’s plan should also include infrastructure investments that would allow universities to follow and implement ventilation and air-quality measures that are dictated by public and occupational health authorities.
A safe return to campus also necessitates that university administrations work with faculty associations and campus unions to design and implement re-opening plans that address the most up-to-date science on COVID-19 transmission through their Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC). JHSCs’ involvement in return-to-work planning is vital to ensure healthy and safe workplaces, including on university campuses.
OCUFA members are keen to return to in-person activities on campus as soon as it is safe to do so. OCUFA urges the provincial government to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for postsecondary institutions to keep our campus communities safe.
For media inquiries or more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Ahn, Executive Director at 416-306-6030 or email@example.com