City of Brampton lays off 25 managers to 'restructure and modernize' city hall
Published Wednesday, September 7, 2016 3:20PM EDT
The City of Brampton has laid off 25 of its managers, including department heads, as a result of major restructuring at city hall.
In a news release Tuesday, Brampton’s chief administrative officer Harry Schlange said the layoffs are “structural changes” to the city’s organization and will work to improve efficiency and progress.
All employees were informed of the layoffs as they arrived at work yesterday.
The sweeping changes come about a year after former Ontario auditor General Jim McCarter was called in to review the city’s finances. In his report, he revealed the city has $215 million in debt and raised concerns over how money is managed and absorbed in staff salaries.
Though the cuts will require the city pay $4 million in severance, it will also reportedly save them approximately $2 million a year.
Schlange told CTV Toronto the decision was not based on money.
“This had absolutely nothing to do with cost cutting,” he told CTV Toronto. “Actually, (by) working with council, what we wanted was to build an organization that was ready for future growth. By developing a more streamlined structure, in the end you do get cost savings but it wasn’t the primary goal of this restructuring.”
Schlange, who was appointed by the city to implement changes in management, made the decision in conjunction with Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey after a months-long review the city’s operational organization and feedback from city councillors, community members and other employees.
Jeffrey said the reduction of staff will help the city with day-to-day operations that were previously “bogged down with layers of management.” She added that every city councillor ultimately agreed with the decision.
“Businesses told us that we were not streamlined in the sense that it took time to get decisions made, whether it was permitting or planning applications,” Mayor Jeffrey said. “So we want to make sure we can compete with the cities that are around us and across Ontario.”
Of the 25 positions being axed, only five are expected to be replaced by new staff members.
The list of employees affected by the layoffs range from a wide variety of departments in the city, including bylaw enforcement, engineering services, municipal public transit and recreation.
Some of those being let go include Chief Public Services Officer Julian Patterson, Chief Operating Officer Dennis Cutajar, Chief of Corporate Services Peter Simmons and Chief of Planning and Infrastructure Marilyn Ball.
Though Tuesday’s news release indicates the layoffs will prompt departments to “build greater co-operation,” it was not clear how that consolidation will be applied.
According to Jeffrey, aside from Tuesday’s announcement, it is unlikely the city will implement any more layoffs in the foreseeable future.
With files from Tracy Tong.