SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Surrey is the latest city to confirm massive layoffs of municipal workers due to COVID-19.
Coun. Jack Hundial says the layoffs are a result of city facilities like libraries, community centres, museums and theatres being shuttered on March 16.
He says 1,900 of those affected are auxillary workers–those without permanent, full-time jobs, while 140 people with full-time positions at city libraries are also out of work.
“It will be a layoff with full intention of bringing everyone back that we can,” Hundial says. “These are great staff members that we have here and really the residents of Surrey are very lucky and fortunate to be able to have the staff that we do.”
He explains unionized workers will be paid in the short-term, to bridge the gap while they apply for and access government supports.
Hundial says the city is trying to keep services up and running while protecting the safety of staff, with more people working remotely and protocols for social distancing in place.
“In the midst of this we’re trying to carry on.”
With files from Renee Bernard