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Union calls for mandatory testing for unvaccinated professionals returning to gov’t workplaces

Publish date: Thursday, August 19, 2021 update

Queen's Park

AMAPCEO, the union representing more than 14,000 professionals in the Ontario Public Service (OPS), is advocating for more vaccination and regular, mandatory COVID-19 testing of government staff when more return to workplaces next month. Those who voluntarily provide proof of full vaccination would be exempt from testing.

The union is pushing for this change to be part of the OPS Employer’s Graduated Return to the OPS Workplace (GROW) plan.

President Dave Bulmer has reached out to the government and the OPS Employer to offer AMAPCEO’s assistance in developing this policy and how the procedures would work.

“There's been a lot of discussion around mandatory vaccination at the federal level and in some sectors here in Ontario,” Bulmer said. “We want to work constructively with the OPS Employer to make sure they get this right and ensure the protection of our members’ health, safety, and privacy.”

The OPS Employer’s Graduated Return to the OPS Workplace (GROW) will see AMAPCEO members currently working remotely gradually returning to the workplace on a part-time basis. In the meantime, AMAPCEO leadership and activists continue to review Ministry- and location-specific reopening plans to ensure the OPS Employer is doing all it can to keep members safe.

Bulmer sees the union’s advocacy for more vaccination and regular, mandatory testing as just another means of keeping COVID-19 out of Ontario’s workplaces.

“It’s important we do whatever we can to protect our co-workers and our loved ones,” Bulmer said. “That includes testing and boosting vaccination rates even higher.”

“I’m relieved I got my shots, and I know the overwhelming majority of our members are glad they did too,” he said.

Media contact: Jason Wagar, Communications Specialist: or 416.595.4986

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Health (Quality Unit); Public Health Ontario; the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).