Toronto backtracks on return-to-office plans for city employees as Omicron spreads fear
The City of Toronto is facing a backlash from public- servants, angry that Mayor John Tory has decided to pull all city employees from the street to give himself and Premier Kathleen Wynne time to put together a new administration. The city’s Chief Administrative Officer, Tom Bradley, has been sent home, after he spent the past days trying to persuade his boss to keep the force’s cars on the road.
The city has since reversed its position and said it’s still committed to keeping the force on the streets for the short-term to allow a new administration to emerge. It appears, however, that the City’s decision to send Bradley home had political overtones.
In the last few days, city staff across the city, including the Ombudsman, have been bombarded with emails, tweets and Tweets from Omicron, the Ontario chapter of the international union UNITE HERE.
In one email sent to city staff on Wednesday, Omicron president Mark MacLean, along with four other officers, accused Tory of hypocrisy. “It’s funny that you have the gall to be the first and only politician in your riding to publicly declare that you are cancelling all work until the Mayor chooses to create a new cabinet.”
The union is asking all city employees to stand up in support of returning to work.
“Please email your City Councillor and tell him or her to tell John Tory that his decision is wrong and to please stop the government’s attacks against the city,” reads the memo. “Please also email your Mayor and tell him to stop the government’s actions.”
The call for a Citywide Day of Action has been widely supported across social media. Toronto councillors have also called on the Premier to intervene and help the city keep its public-servants on the job.
The city’s response is striking in how it seeks to manage the fallout from the Premier’s decision to pull all city employees from the street to help form a new government. In