City laying off park workers
Published Friday, September 21, 2012 8:46AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, September 21, 2012 11:52AM MDT
About 350 City of Calgary employees will be losing their jobs over the next couple of weeks and the union says that shouldn’t be happening, but the mayor says it’s not unusual.
Every year, the city lays off hundred of seasonal employees who maintain the parks over the spring and summer.
The union who represents the workers says they are normally kept on until after Thanksgiving or Remembrance Day.
They add that work to prepare city parks for the winter hasn’t yet been completed.
Don Monroe, CUPE Local 37 president says there is still a lot to do. "Well, there's still irrigation stuff to do. They've been told to do as much as they can and that'll be good. The leaves are gonna fall and the grass is gonna grow."
Mayor Naheed Nenshi disagrees, saying that good weather has allowed crews to finish their required tasks early.
"There's all these reports that the parks budget has been cut, fall maintenance won't be done. None of that is true. Council put money in the parks budget specfically for this. They'll do all the regular fall maintenance that they do," Nenshi said.
He also says there isn’t any truth to suggestions that council took money from the Parks Department to pay for other city services.
Nenshi does admit that the parks budget needs to be reviewed as the city continues to grow and more park are added.