Ottawa's Bruyere Continuing Care suspends 119 unvaccinated employees
OTTAWA -- More than 100 employees at Ottawa's Bruyère health care facilities are now on unpaid leave for failing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Friday, 91 per cent of the 2,298 employees at Bruyère are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while an additional three per cent of employees are "on track" to being fully vaccinated in the coming days.
In August, Bruyère announced that all employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 15.
"A small percentage of staff have chosen not to comply with our mandatory vaccine policy," said Bruyère in a statement on its website.
"We remain hopeful that they will choose to get the vaccine."
Bruyère says 119 employees who choose not to get vaccinated are now on unpaid leave. The employees include 50 full-time and part-time staff and 69 casual employees.
"We will continue to work with these team members and hope all of them will choose to get vaccinated so they can resume working at Bruyère," said Bruyère.
"For the few who are choosing to end their employment at Bruyère, we are thankful for their contribution to the organization to date and wish them all the best."
One day after employees were notified they were being suspended without pay, 12 employees said they would now get vaccinated.
"Since the letters were issued to leaders yesterday, I'm pleased to say that number 119 has been reduced by 12 overnight," said Rebecca Officer, vice-president of Human Resources, Organizational Culture and Development at Bruyere.
"We're hopeful we'll continue to go in the right direction."
Officer told Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa Now with guest host Graham Richardson that employees will be able to return to work with "confirmation that they are getting vaccinated."
Bruyère provides hospital programs specializing in rehabilitation and complex care, family health teams, long-term care homes and in supportive and independent living for older adults.
Two-hundred and three employees at Bruyère, CHEO and the Queensway Carleton Hospital have been or will be placed on unpaid leave for failing to comply with COVID-19 vaccination mandates.