An Ontario branch of CUPE has reportedly withdrawn a grievance filed on behalf of unvaccinated Ottawa Hospital staff who were placed on unpaid leave.
An Ontario branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has reportedly withdrawn a grievance filed on behalf of 186 employees of The Ottawa Hospital placed on unpaid leave on Nov. 1, 2021, due to their COVID-19 vaccination non-compliance.
CUPE Local 4000 explained that as it readied itself for labor arbitration proceedings, the union had instructed its legal counsel to furnish a legal opinion regarding the prospects of success.
“Unfortunately, the Legal Opinion doesn’t support pursuing this grievance,” Mr. Cotsman said in his letter. “This is one reason we’re withdrawing the grievance.” The union did not specify any other reasons for its retraction.
An individual connected with The Ottawa Hospital told The Epoch Times in an email on Sept. 18 that the CUPE’s letter had been distributed to several hospital employees. The person requested anonymity due to concerns related to a pending lawsuit.
“Sadly, those who got this letter are too tired or mentally done and won’t put up a fight,” the source said.
The Epoch Times contacted the hospital to confirm the current status of the unvaccinated employees placed on unpaid leave but didn’t immediately hear back.
Those who were not fully vaccinated were deemed “non-compliant with the COVID-19 vaccine policy and placed on an unpaid leave of absence,” the hospital said on its website.
CUPE Local 4000 said in its letter that in response to The Ottawa Hospital’s announcement, it filed a grievance on behalf of all affected employees. The union acknowledged significant hurdles in contesting this policy due to hospitals’ special authority to enforce mandatory vaccinations for various healthcare individuals. This authority was granted through a COVID-19 Directive by the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health on Aug. 17, 2021.
The Epoch Times reached out to CUPE Local 4000 for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.