by Linda Straker
- April 23 is Vaccination Day at the University
- School of Arts and Science (SAS) protest planned for Friday, 23 April will not involve workers
- Union in dialogue about unilateral hiring policy change
André Lewis, President General of the Technical and Allied Workers Union (GTAWU), said that his union is currently dialoguing with the management of St George’s University (SGU) about the announcement made that mandatory vaccination is required for workers and others who want to be on the compound. “Discussion is ongoing. We are having dialogue and the management is scheduled to meet with workers shortly. We as a union don’t believe that the management of any company whose workers we represent, should have its hiring policy change unilaterally.”
Lewis explained that the protest planned by the School of Arts and Science (SAS) to take place on Friday, 23 April will not involve workers. “That is the students engaging in their right to protest; neither the union nor the workers are involved in this planned activity,” said Lewis.
A letter sent from Richard Liebowitz, MD Vice-Chancellor to the SGU community explained that April 23 is Vaccination Day at the University. The activity which will be held from 9 am to 2 pm is in partnership with the Ministry of Health. “Vaccines are the most effective way to safeguard the health of our campus community, our families, and the community at large. It is important that our university community gets vaccinated to help ensure a safe return to normal campus life,” read the letter.
In March 2020, the University gave its thousands of students the option to depart from Grenada because of the uncertainties centred on Covid-19. Classes were held online for students. However, on 15 April 2021 the University announced that its campus will be reopening for in-person class for the August 2021 semester for all students in the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Arts and Sciences, and Graduate Studies.
A statement confirming the reopening explained that the leadership of SGU considered all aspects of a safe return, placing the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff on campus, and that of the Grenada community as a priority. “As part of our plan for a safe return to campus life, Covid-19 vaccinations will be required for all students, faculty, staff, and administrators, vendors, and visitors on campus. Many universities around the world are requiring Covid-19 vaccination as part of their return strategies for the Fall term.”
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