Windsor to lay off more than 500 city workers amid COVID-19 pandemic
City expects to save $135K per week
Windsor city councillors approved a motion at a special meeting on Wednesday that will lay off more than 500 seasonal, temporary part-time and non-union temporary employees amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Fourteen seasonal staff with CUPE Local 82, 71 temporary part-time staff with Local 82, 446 temporary part-time staff with CUPE Local 543 and 10 non-union temporary employees will all be laid off or have their hours reduced to zero.
The city expects to save approximately $135,000 per week by implementing these work reduction measures.
Speaking at a media conference after Wednesday's special council meeting, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said the city will do "everything possible" to transition employees to one of the federal government's new programs designed to help citizens out of work as a result of COVID-19.
Watch Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and Windsor CAO Onorio Colucci address city worker layoffs:
"Transitioning these employees over to these federal government programs is the most appropriate process at this time," he said.
Speaking at the same conference, Windsor CAO Onorio Colluci said there are currently approximately 1,000 employees still working for the city.
The city also plans on recalling approximately 250 employees from CUPE Local 543 and Local 82 to "assist with cleaning, screening and other municipal duties."
This includes supportive roles at the Huron Lodge long-term care home.
We are going ahead with the full concurrence of union leadership ...- Onorio Colucci, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Windsor
Colucci said city officials, including Dilkens, met on Tuesday with Local 543 president Jason Parent and Local 82 president Rob Kolody to discuss the work reduction.
"There was wide agreement on just about everything," Colucci said. "In fact, I think there was agreement on everything."
"We are going ahead with the full concurrence of the union leadership, who realize that these are uncertain times and we have to do what we have to do for the benefit of both our employees, but also the people of Windsor that pay our salaries."
Council approves transit rebate, waives wastewater interest
In addition to approving the layoffs, Windsor city councillors approved a one-time payments for people who bought a Transit Windsor pass between Feb. 19 and March 19, as well as people who held a monthly pass between Feb. 19 and March 19.
Council also waived interest charges on overdue Enwin accounts for wastewater for 90 days.
Dilkens said none of the decisions made by council on Wednesday "had anything to do with finding savings."