April 3, 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in consultation with the Region of Peel’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the City of Mississauga has made the decision to extend the closure of all its facilities, public counters and programs until further notice.
As a result, the City of Mississauga has made the difficult decision to temporarily lay off approximately 2,000 part-time employees in non-essential services who work at these facilities effective April 17, 2020.
When facilities were first closed, a targeted reopening date of April 5 was established, in alignment with the initial provincial directive for schools to reopen. To minimize the financial impact on our employees, the decision was first made to compensate part-time staff for their previously scheduled shifts for the duration of the closure.
Given Ontario’s State of Emergency has been extended and facilities will remain closed indefinitely, it is no longer financially viable for the City to maintain regular staffing levels. The majority of lay-offs impact part-time employees in Community Services, where community centres, libraries and cultural facilities remain closed until further notice.
“This is a very difficult decision and certainly not one that was taken lightly. The City is facing significant financial pressures as a result of this pandemic and we are taking action to respond to the facility closures and their impact on our operations. I understand the stress this decision will have on our employees. We will continue to be in communication with those impacted and have extended our employee and family assistance program to all staff during this difficult time. As we move toward recovery, we look forward to getting back to business as usual as soon as possible. I think we are all eager to and see life go back to normal. The only way we get there and fight this virus is to follow the advice of our medical professionals and stay at home as much as possible,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
“When we began to adjust our City services and programming to mitigate the risks of COVID-19, we hoped the shutdown would be short lived. With the recent extension of the Provincial Emergency, it seems likely that our facilities will be closed for some time,” said Janice Baker, Chief Administrative Officer and City Manager. “The lay-offs are a direct result of City program cancellations and facility closures, not having work available for part-time employees during the shut-down of non-essential services, and the severe financial pressures we are seeing on our 2020 financial results. I am very much aware of the stress and anxiety that this news may cause our employees. This decision, in no way reflects the value and respect we have for our employees and the work they perform. As soon as we are able, we will be recalling our part-time staff back to work.”
Many employees are expected to receive benefits through Employment Insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. The City of Mississauga is currently awaiting approval from Service Canada to provide a 75 per cent top up to employees who qualify to receive benefits through federal benefit programs.
The City will continue to deliver essential services including Fire, Transit, Works Operations and Maintenance, 311 and Dispatch, Parks and Forestry, Animal Services, Regulatory Services, Building Permits/Inspections, Site Plan Applications, Official Plan Amendments and Rezoning Planning Applications, Security Services as well as Administrative/Technical functions.