Dozens of city employees will be going on strike, effective Saturday at 12:01 a.m.
In a news release issued Thursday evening, the City of Orillia noted, “unionized staff in the Environment and Infrastructure Services Group represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 636 advised they will be on strike.”
They include staff from water/wastewater, waste diversion, operations (including roads and winter maintenance), environmental officers, and electricians.
Fifty-eight staff are included in the collective bargaining unit.
“The City of Orillia has been in negotiations with the IBEW bargaining committee since August 2020. Negotiations broke down when the union team rejected the latest offer from the city,” the release states.
Mayor Steve Clarke said, “The health and safety of those who live and work in Orillia is of the highest priority, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the strike, the city will maintain all critical services, including the provision of clean drinking water, wastewater, winter maintenance and road operations. It’s unfortunate that on top of the pandemic we are faced with a strike situation.”
The city says it has a contingency plan “to maintain all critical services to the public, which includes bringing in outside contractors and redeploying city staff.
“The strike will not impact drinking water and wastewater treatment. The city’s Waste Diversion Site will remain open and garbage collection will not be affected. Winter maintenance will be carried out in accordance with provincial minimum maintenance standards and road maintenance will continue.”
OrilliaMatters is trying to get more information and will post an update when it is available.