COVID-19: Expanding vax mandates extended to TransLink workers

Workers must be fully vaccinated by November 29

TransLink workers will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of November | Photo: Rob Kruyt, BIV

Add TransLink workers to the growing number of employees in B.C. required to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority announced Friday morning employees must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their status by November 29.

This comes after Victoria revealed Tuesday that provincial public servants would need to get both jabs by November 22.

Health-care workers across the province have also been mandated to be fully vaccinated by the end of this month.

A spokeswoman with the transit agency told BIV it has not been determined yet what will happen if workers are not fully vaccinated by the November deadline. Provincial bureaucrats potentially face termination if they do not comply with their own separate vaccine mandate.

“This decision comes at a critical time, as more people return to transit. It’s vital we do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19,” TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said in a statement.

TransLink said it would work with employees and their union to fill in the details about the mandatory vaccination policy, including potential exemptions.

Unifor local 111 president Balbir Mann, whose union represents transit operators, said he’s hoping more details would be made available as early as next week.

“We're here to represent all the members so we're going to make sure everybody's represented equally,” he told BIV.

“It's everybody's individual choice, you know, if they want to get vaccinated or not.”

Mann said the union did not have “exact numbers” on whether members were broadly supportive of such a mandate.

The policy applies to all workers at TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company, B.C. Rapid Transit Company and Transit Police.

torton@biv.com

@reporton