With the leisure centre, library, and theatre closed, Maple Ridge has canceled the shifts of over 100 workers. (File photo/The News)

Maple Ridge has cut 140 auxiliary workers due to COVID-19 shutdown

Pitt Meadows keeps FT workers but gives record of employment to aux staff too

City of Maple Ridge has cancelled the shifts of more than 100 employees, according to the city’s director of human resources, Michelle Lewis.

“The city’s move to close facilities in accordance with Dr. Henry’s health orders had an immediate impact on 140 auxiliary employees whose shifts have been cancelled until the COVID-19 health emergency improves and our facilities can reopen,” she told The News.

Lewis said Maple Ridge has partnership agreements with organizations who manage and staff services like their library, recreation centre, and theatre.

In the meantime, Pitt Meadows is in a similar boat.

While they have managed to retain their fill-time staff, some of their auxilary workers have been given a record of employment.

Upwards of 90 per cent of the city’s staff are either working, or just staying at home, Mayor Bill Dinwall said.

“For some, there’s not a lot that they can do because of the nature of their work, but I can tell you that others – who are in supervisor, manager, or excluded positions – are working real hard,” he added.

READ MORE: Inmates released early from Maple Ridge prisons to stop the spread of COVID-19

One area both cities might look bolstering is their bylaw departments.

“It has been discussed by our corporate leadership team, CAO, and myself,” said Dingwall when asked if there would be more officers hired to ensure social distancing orders are being followed.

“If we did, what we’d likely do is look at people who are available that are already on staff, and then swear them in,” Dingwall continued.

“It’s really repurposing some existing staff to work on that kind of mandate and function.”

Maple Ridge is following a similar path.

They have recently completed the recruitment of a vacant position for a Community Safety Officer with the Bylaw & Licensing Services Department, according to Michelle Orsetti, Director of Bylaw and Licensing Services.

The department is fully staffed based on the 2020 business plan, she added.

“If there is a need for additional staff resources the city will redeploy existing staff members who have the required qualifications to assist in the enforcement of provincial health orders,” Orsetti told The News.



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

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