Windsor police union fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandate

·1 min read
Shawn McCurdy is the president of the Windsor Police Association. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC - image credit)
Shawn McCurdy is the president of the Windsor Police Association. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC - image credit)

The union representing Windsor police officers is fighting a COVID-19 vaccine mandate that takes effect in about two weeks.

Shawn McCurdy, president of the Windsor Police Association, said the number of members that will meet the Nov. 26 deadline is a moving target, but there are currently more than 30 not yet in compliance as of earlier this week.

The association represents almost 700 members.

McCurdy is concerned about the potential impact to operations.

"Depending on the numbers, generally speaking, we have 10 per cent of our membership that are off at any given time due to other leaves: illness, injury, maternity, paternity, et cetera," he said. "You know, if we have an additional five to eight per cent, if that stays status quo, that's gonna have an impact on our ability to provide certain services."

The union has filed a grievance regarding the "reasonableness" of the directive. McCurdy said he was surprised about how the vaccine mandate came down, because there had been discussions about rapid testing being an option for those unvaccinated.

"From the get-go, we supported vaccinations," he said. "We've encouraged our members to get vaccinated. We have a few that are hesitant. It is a personal choice, so therefore we represent everybody in our association."

Windsor City Council asked staff to develop a COVID-19 vaccine policy for municipal employees in August.

At that time, council requested that staff work with city agencies, boards, committees and government businesses — such as ENWIN and Windsor police — to bring their employees under a vaccination policy.

McCurdy said administration has looked at ways to fill front-line patrol positions if officers do get suspended.

More from CBC Windsor:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting