Anti-vaxxer loses fight with union after being fired by Interior Health | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Anti-vaxxer loses fight with union after being fired by Interior Health

Image Credit: PEXELS/Katja Fuhlert

A B.C. health care worker has lost a legal fight against her union after she was fired for refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Former Cranbrook health care worker Kerry Killoran accused the Hospital Employees Union of conspiring against her after she had her employment terminated by the Interior Health Authority for refusing to disclose her vaccination status.

According to a July 18 B.C. Labour Relations Board decision, Killoran says the public health order mandating health care workers to be vaccinated violates her collective agreement as well as "Charter rights, Human rights" and the Nuremberg code.

She also refers to the vaccination as an "experimental gene therapy drug."

The decision does not say what job Killoran had for Interior Health but makes reference that she worked at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.

In October 2021 she was placed on unpaid leave because she wouldn't disclose her vaccination status.

A month later Interior Health terminated her employment because she still hadn't disclosed her vaccination status.

The Hospital Employees Union filed a dispute with the health authority arguing against Killoran's firing and saying her termination was "harassment and coercion to vaccinate for an experimental vaccine."

However, Killoran wasn't happy with the union's response and argued her case should go to arbitration.

The decision says the union contacted Killoran to ask if she planned to get vaccinated.

Killoran replied saying she would not answer the question because "that information" is protected under the privacy act.

Killoran goes on to say her Collective Agreement does not include experimental or (a) non-FDA approved vaccine.

"I was put on a forced unpaid leave without an end date, which constitutes 'constructive dismissal', which is a violation of the Collective Agreement and a violation of the B.C. labour laws," she says.

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The union wrote back saying Interior Health was acting under the provision of the public health order and it didn't have the authority to permit employees to work in contravention of that order.

Killoran wanted her case to go to arbitration, however, the union refused.

The union said it was taking three separate cases to arbitration but hers wasn't one of them.

She then took the union to the B.C. Labour Relations Board, argued the union had acted in bad faith and discriminated against her.

The Labour Board didn't buy it.

"(There is no) suggestion that the Union has somehow conspired with (Interior Health) to have (Killoran) terminated, or that the Union is refusing to pursue the grievances to arbitration at this time out of personal hostility toward (her)," the Labour Relations Board ruled. "It is not bad faith or a conspiracy simply because a union may agree with the employer about some or all of what gives rise to a grievor's concerns."

The Labour Board goes on to say it's up to the union to decide which cases it takes to arbitration and which cases it doesn't.

Killoran's case was ultimately dismissed.

READ MORE: 40% of Canadians not interested in 4th COVID shot: survey

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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