Municipal civil service will adopt ‘hybrid’, but no permanent homework

City manager Steve Kanellakos said 75% of city workers have continued to come to work every day since the heavy public health restrictions began in March 2020.

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City officials on time will not be allowed to log in from a tropical resort town while doing business in the city under a “hybrid” model implemented by the top bureaucrat.

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While city manager Steve Kanellakos says city government will be flexible with employees, they will be required to come to the office when their bosses say so.

“This will not mean that people will be able to stay in their homes all the time and never have to enter our municipal buildings or come to work. I certainly don’t support this, that there would be this permanence of “you never have to show up” or you can go to Jamaica and work outside Jamaica and never have to come back to the office, “Kanellakos said. Wednesday during a press conference.

“I don’t think that’s the way to run a city.”

Kanellakos says management is creating space in municipal buildings where people can work temporarily, often called “hotel” areas, while other staff could have permanent workstations.

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The City of Ottawa has more than 14,000 full-time and 8,000 part-time employees, including police officers and health unit staff.

Kanellakos said 75% of city workers have continued to come to work every day since severe public health restrictions began in March 2020, illustrating the city government’s work to provide important public services on the ground, such as public transport, road repair and paramedic intervention.

Only city workers who work in the three main administrative buildings – Ottawa City Hall, the Mary Pitt Center and Ben Franklin Square – have made the switch to working from home, Kanellakos said.

Just over 4,000 employees work in these three buildings and about 48% of them are back in the office in various capacities, working some days from home and others in the office, Kanellakos said. The rest of the employees will begin the hybrid work process in the new year.

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City council still meets exclusively by video conference, but Mayor Jim Watson is hoping to join his colleagues in the council chamber in January, at least in one form or another. The city clerk is determining when council can meet again in person and how that would work with ongoing public health precautions, Watson said.

The city should consider how many members of the public would be allowed in the council chamber gallery and everyone should still be required to wear masks, Watson said.

The Council Chamber has been modernized with several plexiglass barriers. Transparent shields were installed between the seats around the council table.

Wednesday’s press conference with city staff followed a lively council meeting with few contentious issues on the agenda. However, in a close 13-11 vote, councilors backed a plan to build three one-story warehouses at the intersection of Walkley and Conroy Roads. Dissident advisers said the project was poorly located and would exacerbate traffic jams in the region.

jwilling@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JonathanWilling

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