The City of Orillia has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend the employment of a portion of its workforce as a result of COVID-19.
The City of Orillia is taking a stepped approach in its response to COVID-19, which includes evaluating and scaling back its workforce as required. The workload for some City staff during the COVID-19 pandemic cannot justify continued employment by the municipality at this time, but they are continually monitoring the situation and adapting as necessary.
“The City of Orillia has incredible employees and temporarily suspending the employment of some of our staff was by no means an easy decision. Like so many businesses, the City is faced with the tough choices of how we operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. First and foremost is the health of our employees and the community and we hope to re-engage all of our employees in short order as we all work together to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus. The City of Orillia is still here to provide critical services to the community and I want to assure the public we are doing everything we can to respond proactively to these unprecedented times,” said Gayle Jackson, Chief Administrative Officer.
The City of Orillia provided its union employee groups the mandatory 10-day notice of pending layoffs today. The union will work closely with the City to determine critical tasks moving forward and what union employees will be temporarily suspended from employment. The dates for those employee groups are April 10, 2020 for the Environmental Services and Operations and Parks, Recreation and Culture employee groups, and April 15, 2020 for the Clerical and Technical employee group. For exempt employees, approximately 20 per cent (19 employees) will be temporarily suspended from employment or have their contracts ended early effective Monday, April 6, 2020.
“The local IBEW Union commits to working with the City of Orillia during these difficult times. We will get through this together,” said Tim Pitts, Business Representative for the IBEW Union.
“Our amazing employees are the backbone of the City’s operations and it’s difficult to see anyone temporarily out of work, but it speaks to the gravity of the COVID-19 situation and the difficult decisions that are being made across the entire community,” said Mayor Clarke. “Our main goal is to keep them safe and healthy and get them back to work as soon as responsibly possible.”