Edmonton interim city manager, library boss to provide COVID-19 update Monday

The City of Edmonton is temporarily laying off 1,600 employees and Edmonton Public Library is laying off nearly 500 others.

The COVID-19 related layoffs were announced Monday by Edmonton interim city manager Adam Laughlin and Pilar Martinez, CEO of the Edmonton Public Library.

The city employees work in recreation centres and in public spaces.

Affected staff include full-time and part-time cashiers, fitness instructors, arena attendants, city hall tour guides, art and education instructors, booking clerks, labourers, lifeguards and others.

“When it is safe to do so we will resume our recreation programs and we will welcome back our colleagues,” Laughlin said.

“We do not know when that will be. This has been a difficult decision.”

Laughlin said some staff have been redeployed instead of being laid off temporarily.

Those who have been laid off will receive about 75 per cent of their pay during the layoff period, he said. The city will supplement pay for eight or 16 weeks depending on the employee’s status, he said.

Martinez said the library is laying off 489 employees, about 75 per cent of its staff.

All city recreation centres and all 21 EPL branches have been closed indefinitely since March 14.

The city has nearly 14,000 employees, Laughlin said.

A supplementary budget adjustment will go to council April 15, he said.

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