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City cuts 44 jobs in restructuring

Forty-four pinks slips were handed out to city managers and their administrative staff yesterday.

Forty-four pinks slips were handed out to city managers and their administrative staff yesterday.

The cuts are the third phase of a corporate restructuring at city hall intended to reduce the city’s wage bill and create a more service-oriented approach to citizen interaction.?

City manager Kent Kirkpatrick said yesterday’s layoffs saved the city $2.3 million annually, but for a one-time cost of $5 million in compensation.?

Along with the 44 management and program management positions cut yesterday, 23 employees were offered lower level promotions, 26 have been offered transfers and 22 were promoted.

The primary benefit of the management realignment is that it simplifies how citizens interact with city services, Kirkpatrick said.

A new structure for social services creates a single point of contact for residents to access all social services — including social housing, public health, long-term care and Ontario Works — that the city provides.?

“You don’t need to know how to navigate the organization, the person you meet with will bring the organization to you,” Kirkpatrick said.

By grouping similar services under a single manager, the new structure sets a whole new level of accountability and responsibility for managers, said deputy city manager for city operations Steve Kanellakos.

“It’s the old thing where if you’re not accountable for your homework, you don’t do it,” he said, “Now you can’t pass the buck… it’s you, you’ve got the maintenance of all the infrastructure.”?

Since the restructuring began last October, the city has laid off 56 employees for a savings of $3.7 million.?

The city is still targeting a $113 million reduction to the city budget, which would translate into around 200 positions, but Mayor Larry O’Brien said there would not likely be any more mass layoffs like yesterday.?

“The restructuring is over now,” he said. “I’m comfortable the overall goal of transformation that I put on the table 600 days ago will be accomplished … what they have done is a monumental restructuring of the way the city operates.”

 
 
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