City of Penticton cuts 20 per cent of staff due to COVID-19 pandemic - InfoNews

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City of Penticton cuts 20 per cent of staff due to COVID-19 pandemic

April 03, 2020 - 4:26 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in more layoffs at the City of Penticton.

The City announced today, April 3, in a media release additional layoff notices to staff that effectively reduced the current workforce by 20 per cent.

"This difficult announcement follows initial steps taken in mid March to adjust the City’s workforce in response to provincial health orders requiring local governments to protect their residents and staff from the spread of COVID-19 by closing all public facilities,” Penticton city manager Donny van Dyk said in the release. 

“The impact of those orders was immediate and deep reaching to several city departments, particularly those providing daily services and programs at facilities now closed to the public.  Additional measures, including extending options for voluntary temporary layoffs, were put forth one week later, followed by today’s announcement which introduces workforce reductions across every department,” van Dyk said.

The City also plans to cut spending in other areas by cancelling or deferring projects, reducing non-essential service levels, limiting use of consultants and cutting non-essential travel and training.

"These are unprecedented circumstances, a time when we must think deeply about the roles and impacts of COVID-19 on our incredible City staff, review our approach to managing the business and operations of the City throughout this crisis, and remain acutely aware and responsive to the highly disruptive outcome COVID-19 is having on our residents, our businesses and our way of life,” Mayor John Vassilaki said in the release.

A principled approach was taken to determine how best to manage the City’s costs, and decisions leading to today’s announcement were made only after considerable discussion and reflection by council and senior management, the City said.

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