Campus Return Basics

York is going forward with holding 40-50% of classes in person this semester, which raises some serious concerns. Information about the back to campus plan is sporadic and often incomplete. This page will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.

Campus Access

We do not yet have definitive information about how access to particular buildings on campus will be managed; however, it appears that some buildings will require YU-card access. Members will have to complete an online screening before every time they come to campus. Campus access will be restricted to people who are vaccinated or have an approved exemption.

Mandatory Masks

Masks must be worn inside at all times. York will not be providing masks for employees who are required to be on campus. The union recommends that you not endanger yourself by engaging with individuals who are refusing to wear masks. Students may also have health exemptions that they are not obligated to disclose. You can exercise your right to refuse unsafe work if need be.

Mandatory Vaccines

York has announced a vaccine mandate for anyone who attends campus, supported by the provincial government. This mandate will come into full effect on October 19th.

As of September 7th, you can use the online screening tool to upload your proof of vaccination. Before October 19th, unvaccinated people attending campus may be asked to provide a negative COVID-19 test or other additional measures.

Members may be able to get an exemption to the vaccine mandate due to medical or religious grounds. We will share more information on this process as it becomes available. If this applies to you, you are encouraged to contact the union.

If you signed an in-person contract prior to this announcement and are not vaccinated, or are facing discipline due to your vaccination status, please contact the union. The executive committee’s position on the vaccine mandate is here.

Social Distancing

In July 2021, the provincial government sent a memo to post-secondary institutions announcing that they are planning to lift all distancing requirements in colleges and universities. As of August 31st, the government has announced that post-secondary institutions are exempt from distancing requirements. York has announced that, given the leeway from the government, they will not enforce social distancing in classrooms despite all evidence that this will aid in transmission.

Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

Every worker in Ontario has the legal right to refuse unsafe work. You cannot be disciplined for refusing to work in what you genuinely believe are unsafe conditions, as long as you follow the proper steps. Find out more here: Refusal of Unsafe Work.

Work from Home Accommodations

If you are at high risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19, immunocompromised, or live with someone who is at high risk or immunocompromised, you may be eligible for a work-from-home accommodation based on disability or family status. You can find out more about disability-based workplace accommodations, family status-based workplace accommodations, or contact the CUPE 3903 Equity Officer, Nadia Kanani, at In order to increase the likelihood that your request will be granted, we strongly encourage members to contact the union for support before making a workplace accommodations request.

Other Resources

York Mask Protocol
Toronto Public Health Guidance for PSE
Ministry of Colleges and University Guidance Memo for PSE (Aug 2021)
Public Health Ontario’s HVAC Guidance