Toronto backtracks on return-to-office plans for city employees as Omicron spreads its wings
The City of Toronto hired a new lawyer as it continues its quest to re-engage police and fire union representatives in talks to determine the city’s policy on public safety.
The city is in the process of determining what a “return-to-office” policy means for employees who have been working at the city for more than 180 days. Police employees, as well as those who staff the fire department and the TTC have been working without a return-to-office policy since the previous administration.
It is expected that the city will have to pay for those employees to return to work, as well as any medical and dental care that they receive, if they choose to leave after working for more than 180 days.
Councillor Jim Karygiannis, who is running for the mayoralty, is taking a different approach to the negotiations than his opponent John Tory, whose campaign included promises to restore the city’s return-to-office policy. Tory promised, on his campaign trail, that he would bring the policy back to balance in the months to come.
However, it’s unclear how far the mayoror-elect would go back to balance the city’s return-to-office policy. At no point has the mayor-elect spoken on the issue of returning employees to work.
“We don’t have any specifics about what we’re aiming to do in terms of the policy that’s going to be in place before we go back on the campaign trail,” said Karygiannis.
The city hired a new lawyer on Tuesday, who Karygiannis said offered “the clearest advice we could ask for” on the return-to-office policy.
When asked further about the city’s decision not to meet with union leaders, Karygiannis said he didn’t have any details