(Barrie) The City of Barrie will temporarily lay off 55 more workers (25 temporary positions, 5 permanent part-time and 25 permanent full-time positions) as of April 17. These temporary layoffs are necessary due to the extended cancellation of several non-essential City services and the resulting financial impact.
The City has redeployed 17 staff from areas not deemed essential at this time to essential functions. In addition, to this the City and Union has agreed to requiring reduced work weeks by 1 day per week for employees in most areas of the corporation. These steps have prevented a significant number of layoffs.
“These are incredibly tough decisions that we are being forced to make during unprecedented times," says Michael Prowse, CAO. “I have a great amount of respect for our staff and the jobs they do each day. Unfortunately, not unlike other organizations, we've had to drastically change the way we operate in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19."
The City of Barrie has two revenue sources—property taxes and user fees for services including recreation, transit and parking. The City's budget, including employee salaries, is based in part on these user fees.
Community centres have been closed since March 13 and will not open until at least June 30. The City has been offering free transit since March 20 and not enforcing paid parking. As a result, this past month, the City has lost roughly $1.7 million in revenue and projects a reduction in our cash flow of $65 million by year end.
Notes Prowse, “We are in a very difficult financial situation without the ability for Federal and Provincial financial programs and the requirement for municipalities to balance our books each fiscal year. We owe it to taxpayers to do what we can to minimize the long-term impact of this crisis. I would like to thank the CUPE executive for their work and acknowledgement of the difficult situation we are facing."
The City of Barrie will continue to maintain all essential services citizens rely on every day. For the latest updates to City services, visitwww.barrie.ca/Services.
Senior Communications Advisor
The City of Barrie
(705) 739-4220 ext. 4529