The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) on March 19, 2020, after carefully considering available options, made the difficult decision to issue layoff notices to United Steelworker Union staff who work at both the Comox Valley Sports and Comox Valley Aquatics Centres.

“Following the recent announcement this week regarding the closures of our sports and aquatics centres due to COVID-19 concerns, we had to make a difficult decision to layoff staff given the length of time these closures may be required for,” explained Russell Dyson, CVRD Chief Administrative Officer. 

The affected employees include Custodians, Recreation Facility Attendants, Customer Service Representatives, and Lifeguard/Instructors. Positions not affected include the USW Facility Maintenance Workers.  The CVRD is pushing up their scheduled maintenance shutdowns for both facilities to help minimize future shutdowns when full operations are running again.

  • Layoff notices will be effective March 22, 2020 and the CVRD agrees to pay equivalent wages for the next 30 days as per the collective agreement. The benefits of this approach are:
    • It allows time to adjust and prepare for Employment Insurance.
    • It allows time for any new initiatives that may be announced by the province or federal government to assist in this uncharted territory.
  • CVRD will continue to pay both employer and employee portion of extended benefits for all full-time employees.

“Our goal is to ensure our staff who have served our community over the years will still have access to benefits to sustain their families’ healthy living during this difficult period,” states Russell Dyson. “We look forward to opening our centres in the future with our dedicated staff and bringing the community back together to enjoy playing sports, learning life skills and promoting healthy living.”

The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.

Jennifer Steel

Manager of Corporate Communications, Corporate Services Branch, Comox Valley Regional District