Effective October 1, 2020, The City of Red Deer will reduce the number of divisions reporting to the Office of the City Manager from five to three as part of current structural changes taking place within the organization.
Red Deer City Council endorsed the structural changes during an in-camera session on September 14, with a report going forward to council for information at their regular meeting on Monday, September 28.
“Like those in the private, not-for-profit and charitable sectors, The City of Red Deer is facing unprecedented financial challenges stemming from the economic slowdown coupled with the impact of COVID-19,” said City Manager Allan Seabrooke. “This restructuring will help us reduce our operating budget by an estimated $7 million in 2021, all while continuing to deliver the core programs and services our citizens have come to know and expect.”
The three new divisions, which City Council is required to endorse, are Community Services, Corporate and Employee Services, and Development and Protective Services. These divisions will be headed up by general managers who will provide oversight and direction to the departments within the respective divisions. Some departments and current functions will shift under the new divisional structure.
“There are number of other changes taking place as we explore new ways of doing business and we work to be increasingly innovative in how we deliver services and programs. Unfortunately, in changing how we deliver services, we are also making some necessary staffing reductions,” said Seabrooke. “These reductions include both exempt and union positions, equating to a reduction of approximately 75 full-time positions going into the 2021/2022 multi-year budget cycle.”
Part of this reduction includes the implementation of a Voluntary Retirement Program in which 52 City of Red Deer employees opted to participate.
“These retirements minimized the number of staffing reductions we had to consider. Where voluntary retirements involve a position that must be filled or replaced, an equivalent position will remain unfilled as a mechanism to reduce the overall staffing complement going into the 2021/2022 Budget,” said Seabrooke.
Since the onset of COVID-19, other changes in the organization include the termination of 165 casual employees in March 2020. In April 2020, 150 employees received temporary work interruptions.
“While difficult, these decisions are necessary as we work to reposition our city for stability in the coming years,” said Seabrooke. “However, things like this are never easy, and despite the changes being made, I want to acknowledge the hard work of our invaluable staff throughout these challenging times as we continue to work together to provide sustainable municipal services for the citizens of Red Deer.”
For more information on the organizational impacts, please see attached FAQ QA - Organizational Restructuring (pdf) .
For more information, please contact:
The City of Red Deer