City of Orillia to lay off some workers as it faces down COVID-19

City has served its employees' unions ten days notice

Many folks are facing layoffs and uncertainty in their professional lives. The employees at the City of Orillia are no different.

The City has announced it has made the tough choice to temporarily suspend the employment of a portion of its workforce. “The City of Orillia has incredible employees and temporarily suspending the employment of some of our staff was by no means an easy decision,” said Gayle Jackson, Orillia’s Chief Administrative Officer. “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’s union employees’ groups have been given the mandatory ten-day notice of layoffs today. “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. Both the city and the union will work on which critical tasks are needed moving forward, and which union employees will be temporarily suspended.

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 percent (19 employees) will be temporarily suspended from employment or have their contracts ended early effective Monday, April 6, 2020.

“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.”