Saskatchewan

City of Regina laying off 360 casual staff, not recalling 500 seasonal employees

The City of Regina says staff will be reduced by 860 positions in the coming weeks as it prepares to layoff 360 casual employees and suspend recall for 500 seasonal employees.

City manager says essential services are being maintained

Chris Holden, Regina city manager, said the layoffs are related to facility closures during COVID-19 pandemic. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

The City of Regina has issued layoff notices to 360 casual employees and plans to postpone job recall for 500 seasonal employees, effective March 31.

The move was announced by City Manager Chris Holden at the city's daily conference, where he said some positions like cashiers, life guards and some maintenance positions would be among the impacted jobs.

"Once we return to normal, we'll be looking to recall those employees and re-hire those employees back," Holden said, though he stopped short of giving a guarantee.

The city employees about 2,800 people, including seasonal, permanent and casual staff.

There are typically about 1,000 casual employees on the work force, with the majority of them working within parks, recreation and cultural services, according to Holden.

Some retraining and re-assignment will be needed to keep some permanent staff members working, Holden said. There are currently no plans to reduce the number of permanent positions.

Casual staff are scheduled based on work requirements and the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in mass shutdowns of public and private institutions, including facilities like libraries and swimming pools.

Relaxed bylaw enforcement

Mayor Michael Fougere said the city has also relaxed ticketing for violations of many city bylaws, including noise and parking.

Some people who are in isolation or who require support for things like groceries or essential services sometimes means noise late into the evening, Fougere said, and urged people to be understanding.

Fougere said parking tickets are still being given out in cases of safety, such as a vehicle parked in front of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane.

There have been 176 tickets issued in the City of Regina since March 19 for safety violations only, Fougere said.

"We have been keeping our promise and we want to make sure people understand that we're trying to be as flexible as we can be," the mayor said.

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