The City of Grande Prairie has laid off 330 casual and temporary employees. The majority worked at recreation and event facilities like the Eastlink Centre and Revolution Place, which have largely been shuttered due to COVID-19 measures.
City Manager Horacio Galanti says the number represents approximately 270 casual, and 60 temporary employees.
“The City of Grande Prairie is facing the same difficult decisions on how to respond to COVID-19 that all other employers are,” says adds. “We made the best decision we could after weighing all available options with the information we have available today.”
Galanti adds layoff decisions were, in part, an effort to give impacted employees the option of applying for assistance programs through the provincial and federal governments.
However, Galanti adds there is continuing analysis going on as to service level needs, which could open the door for re-hiring those who have been let go.
We have more flexibility if we need to re-call employees, initially in a 60-day window…if the situation gets better sooner than 60 days, we can re-call people as needed and start re-opening facilities, and it would be a seamless process [rather] than going through a re-hiring process,” he says.
Galanti says the city continues to monitor core function needs, and suggests further details about the municipalities long term planning will be ready for public consumption in the next couple of weeks.