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Only 14 to get layoff notices at Vancouver city hall

March 8th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Sorry, I’m falling down on the job in getting those internal memos out there fast enough. I got this last Thursday and here it is at last.

From: Ballem, Penny
To: [deleted]
Sent: Thu Mar 04 16:01:48 2010
Subject: For your info – this is going to council tonight pb

I would like to provide you with an update on communication that will be sent out to all staff this Friday regarding HR changes related to the 2010 Budget.

As you are aware, in December, we estimated 109 positions would be impacted through the service level adjustments as a result of the 2010 Budget. We also announced that an additional 14 impacted positions had been identified within Engineering Services, Equipment Services Branch and Mountain View Cemetery due to a decrease in work load within these areas. Thus, a total of 123 positions would be potentially impacted out of our 10,000 member workforce.  At that time, CMT established a committee with membership from across the City to work to mitigate the impact on staff.

In January following a lot of hard work by our committee, managers and unions, we announced that only 44 employees were subject to the group termination notice under provincial labour legislation. Shortly after the communication in January, an additional three positions within Equipment Services and Mountain View Cemetery were identified, bringing our total number to 47 employees covered by the group notice.

Since that time, our HR Transition Team, Vacancy Management Committee, Unions and managers have worked together to further reduce the impact on staff.  Our goal has been to have as few people as possible leave the organization while ensuring we meet our budget targets.

Through the Section 54 process which is mandated under provincial labour legislation, we have been involved in discussions with our unions to develop labour adjustment plans.  We have reached an agreement with CUPE 15 to develop a number of placement mechanisms that will help to lessen the impact on staff.  Under the adjustment plan for CUPE 15, employees who accept placement offers to available vacant positions (including temporary assignments) that are at a lesser pay grade than their current position, will receive wage protection, continue to work the same (or greater) number of daily/weekly hours, and will have a priority right of return to their former pay grade and Service group for a period of up to a maximum of 18 months.  Employees represented by CUPE 15 who choose not to accept a placement offer, or where an offer is not made, will retain all of their existing rights under the collective agreement.

We continue to participate in Section 54 discussions with CUPE 1004 and IBEW.  I am hopeful that we will have agreements with those unions shortly and will communicate those at that time.

The very encouraging news is that as a result of a lot of hard work on the part of our city-wide committee, managers, and our Unions, to date we have been able to find placements through retirements or vacancies for a total of 112 employees, meaning that at this point in time, only 14 employees our of the original 126 will receive actual layoff notice.

For those of you who might have a particular interest in the Park Board’s changes, I am pleased to report that through financial commitments by Community Centre Associations and identification of transfer opportunities for staff, there will be no layoffs in the Park Board at this time.

Finally, last week we met with our Unions to give them an overview of the status of the VSR projects.  We continue to assess and evaluate the impact that these projects may have on staff.  More information specifically relating to the IT Shared Services project, as well as the Procurement project will be communicated sometime this month and we will of course, continue to keep you apprised of those developments.

I want to express my appreciation for the tremendous amount of work done by our union colleagues, our HR department and all of our managers in making sure we did everything possible to support our staff and broad organization through this challenging process. This commitment will continue and Council’s support is much appreciated.

Thank you,

Penny Ballem, MD FRCP
City Manager
tel: 604.873.7626
[email protected]

Categories: City Hall Talk