Toronto backtracks on return-to-office plans for city employees as Omicron spreads concern.
With the dust still settling from a recent controversy surrounding the city’s return-to-work program for municipal employees, Mayor John Tory is making clear that the program is not going forward, signalling a major shift in direction for his administration’s approach on the issue.
Last week, the Toronto Star revealed that City Hall had quietly accepted a $4.1-million consulting firm, Omicron Systems Inc., to determine the best ways to implement a return-to-work program for city employees, including the number of employees who would return to work.
Tory subsequently told reporters that the city is not, in fact, implementing such a program.
“They’re not going to get rid of the union,” he said. “The unions will find ways to make certain we have good programs.”
In a statement to the Star, Omicron CEO David Henschke said his firm would have no comment about the city’s plan or the controversy surrounding it, but said his firm is “committed to providing the best possible solution to ensure that employees return to their offices on time and that they are as productive at work as they were prior to the COVID-19 crisis.”
The Toronto Star has more details on the controversy below.
What happened: The Star reported last week that Omicron Systems Inc., the New York City-based consultant hired for a $4.1-million consulting firm, had been asked to help determine the number of employees who would return to work during a return to work initiative of the city.
On March 24, the city issued a news release announcing it was planning to implement the return-to-work program that would see an “initial series of work-arounds” implemented by municipal employees at the end of the day Tuesday, March 29, to allow time for municipal employees to get their personal equipment.
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