We are relieved that Trent has announced a vaccine mandate and that the policy that we expect to see adopted will be among the best in the province. For one thing, Trent will be requiring proof of vaccination rather than attestation and regular testing in the absence of that proof. Our conversation at Joint Committee yesterday suggests that the University is carefully thinking through the challenges of effective management and compliance for proof of vaccination and testing, alongside evolving public health requirements. This has not been true everywhere. Following the provincial announcement on August 17th, for instance, some universities and colleges will need to revise their previously announced vaccine mandates and policy directions. Our thanks to TUFA members for helping us think through these complex problems and for contributing ideas, voicing concerns, and otherwise helping us get to a good result.
At Joint Committee, TUFA also pressed for additional information about fall planning and stressed the importance of better communication from the administration regarding the return to teaching a mere twenty days from now. We emphasized that regular communication is important for the membership even when there is uncertainty regarding provincial and local directives around public health; indeed, updates are important especially because of such uncertainty. The Provost circulated an update yesterday afternoon, and we look forward to further announcements about teaching next week.
We also reiterated our request that the University send a detailed update to members regarding ventilation improvements. Although we gave an overview of ventilation upgrades at the last TUFA townhall, not all members were present to receive it. Moreover, we imagine that many will appreciate having a detailed report on improvements from the University itself, as well as answers to some of the questions not addressed at the townhall.
Moira and Marcus