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Game of Telephone

September 03, 2021 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Interpreting public health orders feels like a tragic version of the child’s game of telephone where we hear the same information at the start, but as the message gets filtered through the media, our friends and colleagues, and our own internal filters, the details can get lost. 


At Wednesday’s members’ meeting, we discussed two issues: the probable vaccine requirement for workshops and mandatory vaccinations required by various employers. 

Workshops & the Proof of Vaccine Requirement
At the time of our discussion, we had not heard back yet from the funders but here is what others are doing for their in-person workshops:

  • Going ahead with planned workshops but not marketing them until we have policy confirmation from the funders.
  • Moving planned workshops to virtual and/or one-on-one meetings for smaller cohorts.
  • Doing nothing differently; waiting and seeing what the funder and the Public Health Office (PHO) say.

A member identified a potential Catch-22 situation for computer literacy skills workshops. A computer-generated vaccine proof or passport is needed to attend a workshop to teach clients how to access their proof of vaccine or passport.  

Mandatory Vaccination Requirements
How do organizations plan for the future if they are required to have employees vaccinated? Will people lose their jobs? We can see the vestiges of this issue playing out on the six o’clock news and within our own organizations, we wonder how to address the situation. Here’s what some members said:

  • Remove the personal opinions and stay out of the debate. Instead, talk about the ramifications for some jobs if not vaccinated; similar to requiring a criminal records check.
  • Flip the conversation to promoting a collegiate and safe environment for all regardless of one’s vaccination status. 
  • Have team conversations about what makes clients and staff feel comfortable but keep the discussion about who has what vaccine status out of it. 

Response Excerpt from WorkBC
I know that many of our Aspectives readers do not deliver WorkBC contracts, but I thought I would share this excerpt of an email with you all from Val Beaman, Executive Director of Operations of the WorkBC contracts. It was sent yesterday. 

As an update, we have met with the PHO and were advised that additional proof of vaccination clarification and guidelines are actively in development. We have shared the questions raised by service providers and have provided information about the common types of employment service activities to the PHO to help inform their guidance. 
Further information will be available in the coming days to support service providers. 
Thank you to Val for keeping us updated.

As I write this, I worry that I might be misinterpreting what has been said and that I might be the end person of the telephone game. Again, like almost every day of this pandemic, we need to be patient for answers. In the meantime, enjoy the long weekend ahead. More information is coming next week!

Janet Morris-Reade

300 - 722 Cormorant Street | Victoria, BC | V8W 1P8

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