Slashed budgets could translate into layoffs for City of Calgary

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

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Vegas development
Even Las Vegas has been impacted by slower growth as evidenced by this stalled development

While Vancouver grapples with major budget cuts and the prospect of layoffs, the City of Calgary is in no better shape. Last week it was revealed that a memo drafted by Owen Tobert, City Manager, is looking to find $20M in savings in order to balance the books.

According to the Calgary Herald, who first reported on this story last week: 

30 people in the city's development and building approvals department received layoff notices, although 16 will return to now-vacant positions in other departments.

As is the case in Vancouver, a dramatic drop in development fees have contributed to the significant revenue shortfall. Mayor Bronconnier says the City of Calgary has already done everything it can to trim costs, but it simply can't run a budget deficit.

The union meanwhile is sounding alarm bells. Here's what CUPE local 38 president Peter Marsden had to say:

It's uncertain times. If they say they're needing some cost savings, they're sending direction (in the memo). We'll see.

The Mayor told the Herald that 90 positions were either eliminated or not filled in order to trim costs. Most of those came from the development and building approvals department.

The situation between Vancouver and Calgary appear eerily similar. Both cities are facing economic slowdowns and have been impacted by plummeting revenue. In Vancouver, the Vision Council has ordered a Core Services Review which could result in the loss of anywhere between 150-200 permanent positions throughout the city.

In addition to lost revenue, one of the major cost drivers for Vancouver includes the pending wage increases it must pay over the next two years as part of a 17.5% compensation package negotiated with CUPE a couple of years ago. The more significant annual pay increases were placed in the latter years of the collective agreement.

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