City of Edmonton lays off 900 more workers in COVID-19 response

The City of Edmonton is temporarily laying off another 900 employees in response to reduced transit service and lower demand for administrative services, interim city manager Adam Laughlin announced Monday. 

Nearly half of the laid-off staff are transit operators, Laughlin told a news conference at city hall.   

Others being laid off include staff whose jobs are in administration, analytics, community liaison, human resources, technology, training and other services across all city departments.  

“We must cut back, and today we are,” Laughlin said. “The decisions today were difficult but necessary.” 

The city has now laid off 3,000 staff in relation to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions since late March. On March 30, officials announced temporary layoffs for 1,600 city employees. At the same time, the Edmonton Public Library laid off nearly 500 others.

The city is facing an estimated shortfall of $168 million by September due to measures taken to combat the public health crisis.

Mayor Don Iveson joined Laughlin at Monday’s news conference, saying the decision is unfortunate. 

“It’s heartbreaking for decision-makers,” Iveson said.  

Laughlin also said the city will not fill existing vacancies.

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