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Part-time municipal staff temporarily laid off in Kingston due to COVID-19 ‘work shortage’

The city has announced layoffs for many of its municipal staff due to COVID-19 restrictions. CKWS TV

Editor’s note: The story has been changed to reflect that part-time city staff are only temporarily laid off, and will be back to work again once the temporary work shortage has been lifted. Although these staff members are not being paid, they are still receiving benefits.

The city of Kingston announced Wednesday it would be temporarily laying off a large number of part-time staff due to COVID-19 work restrictions.

There is currently a work shortage due to changes prompted by the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the city, which has prompted impending layoffs of “many” part-time municipal employees.

The city noted affected workers would simply be put on temporary leave, would still receive benefits and would be back to work again once the shortage was over. Nevertheless, the workers will not be being paid during their leave.

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READ MORE: Community spread of COVID-19 confirmed, Kingston region declares states of emergency

The notices were sent out Wednesday, and will take effect April 12.

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‚ÄúThis shortage of work follows several city facility closures and discontinued programs, and impacts multiple departments,” a statement from the city read.

Last week, Global News confirmed that 55 part-time Kingston Transit bus drivers had been temporarily laid off due to the city’s continued restrictions on transit services.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Kingston Transit reduces service amid dip in ridership, affecting part-time workers

Now, it seems, other departments are seeing similar constraints.

The city could not confirm how many part-time staff members received the leave notices Wednesday, but reiterated that “many” of them had.

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Despite these temporary cuts, the city continues to operate, but rather at a lesser capacity in order to protect staff and the public from catching the disease.