On Thursday, April 2, the City of Welland issued temporary layoff notices to 15 full-time CUPE staff. This is in addition to other temporary layoff notices issued already, including to 12 full-time transit drivers, 17 full-time Public Work casuals, 23 part-time staff (includes transit operators, transit terminal clerks, and recreation staff).
Last week, the Welland Public Library issued temporary layoff notices to 22 part-time staff. This Thursday, eight full-time Library CUPE staff received temporary layoff notices. In addition, the Welland Museum has issued layoff notices to two part-time staff and two full-time contract staff.
“Staffing levels are being reduced as a result of events and programs being cancelled and public facilities being closed until the end of June,” said Welland CAO Gary Long, in a media release issued Friday, April 3.
“We’ve also reduced transit staff and service levels as a result of significantly reduced ridership. With this reduction in work, we are adjusting our staff complement. Decisions impacting the livelihood and well-being of our team have not been taken lightly by our Corporate Leadership Team and myself. We respect our mandate to provide public services and we respect the fact that these services are paid for by the taxpayers, many of whom have been impacted financially by the economic shocks of COVID-19. To this end, the City’s Corporate Leadership Team continues to focus on strong financial management and using taxpayer dollars wisely.”
In alignment with the City, the Welland Public Library has made “the difficult decision to initiate issuing temporary layoff notices to most part-time and full-time library employees,” said the statement.
“The staff at the Welland Public Library are incredible employees who make valuable contributions to the lives of library users every single day,” said Welland Public Library CEO Julianne Brunet. “Once it is safe to do so, we anticipate recalling all of our employees so that they may resume the transformational work that they do to support a healthy and strong community.”
On Thursday, the City also announced that it is extending the closure of all public facilities, and the cancellation of events and programming until June 30, 2020. The City’s “business continuity assumptions” are that normal business operations will not return until July 6.
In the meantime, according to the statement, all City departments and divisions are operational, and staff are continuing to provide essential services with rotating shifts and working from home arrangements to adhere to public health directives.