St. John’s – The union representing municipal outside workers in the City of St. John’s says there is simply no way that laying off dozens of workers won’t have an impact on service delivery.

CUPE National Representative Brian Farewell says, “Why on earth would the first impact of the city’s review procedure result in huge cutbacks in core services for the residents of the City?

“Is there a similar review being conducted with the management, administration or human resources divisions of city hall? Is the pain in this exercise going to be distributed over the entire system,” asks Farewell.

Says Farewell, “It really begs the question who’s running city hall when the Chair of the Finance Committee, Danny Breen, can’t even answer simple media questions regarding the decision to reduce the workforce by 48 positions.

“Of those layoffs, 47 will be Local 569 members going home. Breen was unable to explain how a reduction in residential services would not occur as a result of these layoffs. He has instead suggested that senior officials with the city meet with the media to explain the rationale,” says Farewell.

Farewell says, “In a preliminary meeting with the employer advising us of the review procedure, we were assured we would have meaningful input into the exercise. There was no input or discussion – we simply received a statement about the layoffs.”

Says Farewell, “Residents are definitely going to see a difference in the standard of service, especially in things like sidewalk clearing of snow and ice and road maintenance year-round. For any member of council to suggest otherwise is false and misleading.”