Pandemic Restrictions Update

On Tuesday, August 17th members of the MUNFA Executive Committee met with the administration, including Greg McDougall, Chief Risk Officer, to discuss pandemic restrictions for the fall 2021 semester.

In this meeting we informed the administration that overwhelmingly MUNFA members support the introduction of a vaccine mandate and the reinstatement of a mask mandate at Memorial University (89% and 76% of those surveyed respectively). We also continued to press the administration to adopt a more assertive vaccination campaign to ensure all members of the University community have been vaccinated.

The administration has informed MUNFA that they were previously provided a legal opinion indicating they could not proceed with a vaccine mandate but given recent developments at other Canadian institutions and the introduction of a vaccine mandate for federal government employees, they are now reopening this conversation. It is the MUNFA Executive Committee’s opinion that the administration must act quickly to introduce a vaccine mandate for the fall 2021 semester.

Mr. McDougall also informed MUNFA representatives that given feedback received he would be recommending the reinstatement of the mask mandate on campuses. It was our position that Academic Staff Members (ASMs) be provided the option to remove their mask while lecturing if they so choose and that exceptions be made to this mandate when course delivery dictates (e.g. languages, theatre arts, etc.).

Finally, we encouraged the administration to adopt a more assertive vaccination campaign. Suggestions to achieve this included a request that the messaging on Memorial University’s home page focus on vaccination efforts and a proposal that, wherever students are required to login to access University services, they be directed to vaccination information.

Once again, we encourage ASMs with concerns/suggestions/feedback to communicate them directly to your Administrative Head and to copy the MUNFA Office,