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Fired for not getting flu shot

A BC health-care employee who refused to get a flu shot or wear a mask was fired for failing to follow a government policy.

Interior Health spokesman John Bevanda says the activity worker in Grand Forks was terminated after progressive disciplinary measures that typically involve a warning letter, a one- to three-day suspension and meetings in the presence of a union representative.

Bevanda says activity workers' jobs involve transporting patients in clinics or adult day programs.

He wouldn't say whether the Hospital Employees Union worker was a man or woman or why Interior Health did not publicize the firing in December.

Bevanda says 76 per cent of the 19,000 Interior Health employees chose to be vaccinated, while others wore a mask when working with patients during flu season in keeping with the policy introduced in 2012.

He says the fired worker was among about four people who opted not to get the flu shot but that the others eventually complied with the policy, which was upheld by an arbitrator last fall after the Health Sciences Association filed a grievance.

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