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Department of Environment and Science members support vaccination mandate

Together members employed in the Department of Environment and Science have voted to support an employer mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations, with over 76% of members who participated in the ballot supporting the mandate.

Together delegates meet on Friday 14 January to consider the outcomes of the member ballot and also the other feedback from Together members.

Together delegates and officials also met with the employer on Monday 17 January to provide the union’s response to the employer's draft policy.

The position of Together was that the proposed policy was complex in structure and, outside of the areas covered by Chief Health Officer Health directives,  that a simpler mandate policy with greater scope for exemptions would be easier for staff to understand and for the employer to implement, while still achieving the broader policy objective of a safer workplace through a vaccinated workforce.

Together delegates also recommended that the timing of the implementation of the policy be reviewed to ensure the minimum levels of disruption and confusion in workplaces with several different public service departments and agencies.

The employer undertook to consider the union’s position as part of the broader consultative process around the draft policy.

The meeting also covered a range of other issues relating to the current challenges faced by members as a consequence of the lack of Rapid Antigen Tests in Queensland and the need to prioritise the public health response in approaching these issues.