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Staff Layoffs - Covid-19

Dear Residents: 

Last week, Council instructed our CAO to reduce our existing level of staffing in consequence of the unfolding global COVID-19 pandemic.  For the most part, the staffing levels affected were from Town services that receive their funding from external sources not taxes collected from the taxpayers. 

While the number of layoffs is quite large at 136 people, it includes 29 full-time, 45 part-time, 13 seasonal, 28 casual, 4 contract and 17 supply.  Nearly three-quarters (72%) of the layoffs are due to the closure of the Childcare Centre and the Pool that are largely funded, 67% and 61% respectively, by parent/user fees which have disappeared because the services are not being offered at this time. The Childcare facility requires over $317,000 in parent fees per month to pay salaries and operating expenses.   

In addition, we are no longer receiving revenue from our user groups utilizing our community and recreational facilities, such as our swimming pool, arenas, etc. These mentioned facilities require $217,000 per month to operate and once again these costs are paid for by the users and not directly from taxation. 

Council was not prepared to pass along the lost parent/user fees in the amount of $534,000 to cover staffing and operating expenses to the tax base -- an amount that equals more than an additional 4% increase in the tax rate each month (when a 1% tax increase raises $114,000).  

New information pertaining to COVID-19 continues to come to light on a daily basis and while people can speculate how long its impacts will last, no one knows for sure.  Council made the best decision with the information it had at available at this time. 

Council wants to assure its residents that all essential services such as Fire, Public Works, Building Inspection and By-law Enforcement are not impacted by these layoffs.  Measures have been put in place in these and other departments to ensure that the 155 staff still working are ready and available when needed. Our most significant priority is keeping all of our staff healthy ensuring their ability to continue their great efforts. 

The Town is trying to do its part in helping to combat the effects of COVID-19.  Where possible, staff are working from home in order to limit the number of people in our facilities to ensure social distancing is possible.  

“This was a very tough decision and not one that was taken lightly by any means,” says Doug Black, Mayor of the Town of Carleton Place. “The decision was made with input from the various Managers and CAO with Council directing the CAO to proceed with the layoffs.”   

Council wanted to help ease the burden on staff who were laid off as much as possible as they know that they are a hardworking and dedicated staff.  They will be paid in accordance with Council’s previous decision until Tuesday, March 31st, 2020. Council has additionally agreed  

that anyone who is on the benefit plan will be able to keep these benefits until at least June 30, 2020 or in accordance with the provisions of the respective benefit program.  Council wants to see staff returning to their respective positions as quickly as possible. 

Affected employees were encouraged to take advantage of the confidential Employee Assistance Program through Homewood Health which is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, 365 days per year in the event they need assistance through this difficult time. 


March 30, 2020

Contact:

Doug Black, Mayor
613-257-6206,
dblack@carletonplace.ca

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

TOWN OF CARLETON PLACE FORCED TO MAKE DIFFICULT STAFFING DECISIONS RE: COVID-19

Last week, Carleton Place Town Council had to make the difficult decision to lay off some members of the municipal staff in light of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Affected staff include those in departments where there is no work due to our inability to offer programing or where work is not required due to the nature of the pandemic. The layoff came into effect on Friday, March 27th, 2020.

“This was a very tough decision and not one that was taken lightly by any means,” says Doug Black, Mayor of the Town of Carleton Place. “We had to recognize that many people in our community have been laid off and are finding it difficult to pay their bills. Council had to balance this with responsibly managing the Corporation from a financial perspective.”

To help ease the burden, staff will be paid in accordance with Council’s previous decision until Tuesday, March 31st, 2020. Council has also agreed that anyone who is on the benefit plan will be able to keep these benefits until at least June 30, 2020 or in accordance with the provisions of the respective benefit program.

Affected employees were encouraged to take advantage of the confidential Employee Assistance Program through Homewood Health which is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, 365 days per year in the event they need assistance through this difficult time.

“We are facing an emergency like we have never faced before,” says Diane Smithson, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Carleton Place. “It is impacting not only how we do our business but how other businesses in the community operate. As soon as we are able to open for business again, we will do so and look forward to a time when staff ca return to work.”

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