Toronto mayor warns of layoffs unless buyouts are accepted

Rob Ford says the city has no other choice to reduce the city’s deficit
||Last Updated: 08/12/2011

Toronto’s mayor is warning the 16,000 city workers he’s offered job buyouts to that they should take the deal now or risk getting laid off in the future.

Ford made the comments during an interview on Sun News Network on Aug. 12 when asked about a newspaper article claiming his administration now feels layoffs are inevitable as a result of the low response to the offer. The mayor said that workers need to take the offer in order to adequately cutback on the city’s deficit.

“The last thing we want to do is put somebody out on the street so we’re working and saying here, here’s a package, I’d advise you to take it,” Ford said. “If someone else can come up with a solution, let me know.”

The offer provides managers four weeks’ pay per year of service and unionized workers three weeks’ pay per year.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Ford said when the buyout offer was announced. “We have too many employees down at City Hall. We just can't carry 53,000 employees."

The president of the association representing the city’s non-union managers and supervisors, Richard Majkot, told The Toronto Star this week that he estimates as few as one per cent of his members will take Ford up on his offer.

In September 2010, as part of his mayoral campaign, Ford said that he would reduce the city’s workforce through attrition in order to trim the budget. He said that there wouldn’t be a need for layoffs as they would fill superior positions by promoting from within.

In the Sun interview, the mayor reiterated his wish to sell the Toronto Zoo and one or more of the city’s three performing arts centres.

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