The Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA) is cautiously optimistic about today’s statement that the University of Alberta will be implementing additional safety measures to help ensure a safe environment for students, staff, and faculty by requiring all campus community members and visitors to be fully vaccinated as of November 1, 2021. In an informal survey of support staff NASA conducted in August, 78.5% of respondents supported mandatory vaccination (61% strongly) with 13% opposed (7.5% strongly).
As NASA cautioned when the university’s revised return-to-campus plan was announced on August 17, it has become increasingly clear that the current approach is overly complicated and functionally unworkable in practice.
While we are encouraged by the slow but steady improvement in measures from university leadership since its initial approach was first announced by President Flanagan on August 6, we await specifics about implementation and enforcement of the new policy. NASA recognizes that providing a safe and healthy environment is the university’s paramount responsibility, however, the details about how privacy concerns and protected accommodations will be handled are also important and require clarification. In line with provincial recommendations, NASA also strongly encourages the university to allow all staff who are able to work remotely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
We reiterate the hope that university leadership will better involve representatives from campus stakeholder groups in making these important decisions around implementation.
NASA members who have concerns or questions about their individual circumstances should contact their Labour Relations Officer (LRO) for assistance.