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Local 79's 2016 City Budget Guide – Staffing (Cluster A)

Every year, the City approves its staff complement to meet the needs of communities and ensure the provision of essential City services by all of its Divisions. Every year, the City reports vacancy rates through unfilled staff positions and gapping. Changes in staffing directly impact Divisional service provision – often with cause for concern. The services we deliver are key to building the social and physical infrastructure at the base of Toronto’s economic growth and social inclusion.

CLUSTER A (click on a Division to jump to it)


Children Services – net increase of 8.2 positions resulting in cost increase of $0.822 million gross with a savings of ($0.451 million) net.

  • There are currently 12,000 children on the waitlist for fee subsidy. “Over the past six years, the cost of child care has risen by 30% (Poverty Reduction Strategy: 9).
  • The Division is proposing closure of the preschool room at Parkside Early Learning and Child Care Centre. One of the initiatives identified for the 2016 Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) Work Plan, is that Children’s Services report on “Licensed Child Care Growth and Demand” and implement a 5 year capital plan to increase the number of child care spaces. Closing spaces contradicts this directive, which was unanimously supported by City Council in the Poverty Reduction Strategy. While there are currently 8 children enrolled at Parkside, there will be a total loss of 39 spaces (the program’s capacity).
  • An increase in complement of 5 positions for $0.683 million net arises from the need to add 12.5 case workers to address caseload management pressures resulting from system expansion; 2 district consultants to ensure compliance and operational standards are maintained in the expanded system; and 1 capital manager to assist with the delivery of current and anticipated capital growth.
  • Savings of $1.108 million is included through reducing the staff complement by 5.6 vacant There has also been staff realignment due to a change in case mix in the municipally operated child care centres, resulting in a reduction of 3.6 vacant positions.
  • “The City’s Poverty Reduction Strategy wanted more subsidized child care spaces but the budget does not have committed funding for $5 million for 1,551 child care subsidies with larger subsidies for infants and toddlers. The budget also does not have funding for the $3.61 million to expand After-School Recreation and Care Programs” (Social Planning Toronto, January 18, 2016).

For more details, visit the Children’s Services budget page.


Court Services – net decrease of 35 vacant positions, to be achieved through an increase in gapping

  • Service Efficiencies: Gapping has been increased by $0.740 million, (the equivalent of 10 positions) to $3.511 million in 2016, which will result in 35 vacant positions being deleted from the established complement to reflect the lower number of staff required to manage the projected caseload” (Operating Budget: 9).
  • Additional revenue of $0.316 million will be realized from the phased-in upload of court security costs from municipalities to the Province over a period of 7 years (2012 to 2018).

For more details, visit the Courts Services budget page


Economic Development & Culture – net decrease of 12.1 positions resulting in a cost decrease in 2016 of $5.26 million gross and $0. The 12 temporary positions that supported the delivery of
Pan Am games are no longer required.

  • 2016 Service Deliverable – Support capital investment and job growth of businesses, involving $525 million in construction with a goal to retain and attract thousands of jobs.
  • Progression pay increases total $0.301 million and salary and benefits adjustments result in $0.096 million (Operating Budget: 8).
  • As part of proposed $5.0 million in new funding, there are 10 new positions (Operating Budget: 25-28).
  • Municipal efforts to increase prosperity are becoming increasingly important. The City can leverage its economic power by filling vacant positions and aligning budget decisions with its commitment to social and economic development efforts as outlined in the Poverty Reduction  Strategy. For more information about unemployment and Toronto’s economy, check out the City’s recent Economic Dashboard (November 24, 2015).

For more details, visit the Economic Development and Culture budget page


Long-Term Care Homes & Services – net increase of 146.1 permanent positions resulting in an increase of $8.389 million gross and $1.109 million net due to base changes and service efficiencies.

  • An increase of 61 permanent positions is required for the re-opening of Kipling Acres Phase 2 in May 2016. Kipling Acres had 145 beds held in abeyance during construction. The cost of the various positions is $6.097 million gross, and $1.219 million net.
  • 2,200 volunteers provide over 134,000 hours per year (Operating Budget: 2).
  • An increase of 92 permanent positions, 100% funded by the Province, is required to allow LTCHS to respond to higher levels of service, more complex interventions and provide additional registered and non-registered personnel in order to maintain service levels that are consistent with the rising care needs of residents. The cost is $2.402 million gross and $0 net. LTCHS faces several challenges resulting from a complex and variable funding model. Local 79 has asked City Councillors for assurances that if these positions are added in 2016, there will still be funding for future years. The alternative is that services may have to be cut again.
  • The 2016 Poverty Reduction Strategy Work Plan calls for enhanced priority to LTCHS for “Expansion of the Homemakers and Nurse Services (HMNS)” to increase the capacity of the existing program by 31,200 additional hours of homemaking services to reach 400 additional clients. Again, Local 79 wants the City to explain whether these Council-approved services will be provided through the new provincially funded service positions or by existing staff (with no new funding).

For more details, visit the Long-Term Care Homes & Services budget page


Parks, Forestry and Recreation – net increase of 96.67 positions resulting in a cost increase of $6.153 million gross and $2.525 million net.

  • Given the various job classifications in PF&R, Local 79 has asked for clarification about new positions, i.e. whether they are full-time, permanent, temporary, casual, seasonal, and/or part-time.
  • PF&R has one Manager per 11 employees.
  • New and enhanced funding of $766.5 million is needed for Community Recreation expansion and support. An additional 08 temporary positions are required to staff the full-year operation of the Youth Spaces and After School Recreation Care expansion approved in the 2015 Budget, as well as new recreation facilities which opened to the public in 2014 and 2015, such as the Regent Park Community Centre.
  • In September, the Parks and Environment Committee received a report from the Deputy City Manager, Cluster A on proposed service standard changes. In receiving the report, the Committee also recommended to City Council that sufficient funding be included in the 2016 Budget to fully fund in 2016 the services listed below. They are included for Council’s consideration as New/Enhanced requests, but most of them have not received Mayor Tory’s support.
  • Daily Grooming of all swimming beaches;
  • Horticultural bed rejuvenation being conducted on a five year cycle;
  • Implementation of the Parks Service Plan;
  • The protection of Environmentally Sensitive Areas and parks from invasive species;
  • A 10 year capital plan which would provide for parks sufficiency in all wards;
  • Park path clearing in the winter;
  • Establishment of five new community gardens per year;
  • Twice-yearly inspections and debris removal from ravines and watercourses;
  • PF&R staff review of all development applications that require tree removal or injury prior to those applications being considered by Committee of Adjustment

For a detailed list of which new and enhanced services the Mayor has supported and which ones he is abandoning, see our discussion here.
For more details, visit the Parks, Forestry and Recreation budget page


Shelter, Support & Housing Administration

  • The City faces significant pressures in social housing, primarily from the loss of federal and provincial funding and the cost of maintaining legislated and annually indexed subsidy levels. Since the transfer of Social Housing to the City, the program has faced an annual operating shortfall.
  • Not included in the budget is funding for New/Enhanced services that include: Housing First Pilot to reduce the emergency shelter demand to 90% ($800,000 The Torontoist); and Enhancement to Warming Centres ($416,000) (Operating Budget: 33).
  • Not included, but important to note, are future year operating impacts that will arise from the implementation of the George Street Revitalization project. The annual operating impact is estimated to be $9.061 million and 6 FTEs which will either occur in 2017, 2018 or both.

For more details, visit the Shelter, Support & Housing Administration budget page


Social Development, Finance & Administration- request for 6 new positions to re-instate Toronto Youth Employment Program (TYEP) as part of New/Enhanced services.

  • In the 2016 Work Plan of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, over half of the targeted initiatives are to be delivered within existing resources – mostly by SDFA. How will the City protect and increase service levels as one of its poverty reduction goals given existing staffing and budget constraints and further budget reductions?
  • Included in the 2016 Service Deliverables is for SDFA to lead development/ implementation of various strategic policies that include: Social Procurement Program & Quality Jobs and Living Wage Strategy. The Division also made a request for new/enhanced in the amount of $33,000 for a cost-shared position with TESS, SDFA, EDC and SSHA to provide social procurement advice to Purchasing and Materials Management Division (PMMD).
  • The Division also indicated that its priorities for new/ enhanced programming include: Toronto Youth Employment Program (TYEP) with 6 new positions ($633,000); Specialized Program for Interdivisional Enhanced Responsiveness (SPIDER) – targets coordinated service provision among divisions to vulnerable persons (i.e. hoarding); Service Toronto Youth Job Corps Program.

For a detailed list of which new and enhanced services the Mayor has supported and which ones he is abandoning, see our discussion here.
For more details, visit the Social Development, Finance & Administration budget page


Toronto Employment & Social Services – net increase of 29 positions (reduction of 2 permanent and 35 temporary positions and an increase of 66 temporary positions to increase service levels as a result of problems with SAMS) resulting in cost savings $1.601 million net.

  • The City is proposing a reduction of 37 positions (2.0 permanent and 35 temporary) for a cost savings of $3.203 million gross and $1.601 million net due to a reported Ontario Works (OW) caseload. Although there has been a caseload reduction since the 2015 Budget, in previous years (between 2008 and 2012) the caseload experienced a 37% growth due to effects of the recession. Although 2016 projections are lower than the 2015 budgeted average caseload, there has still been a 33% caseload increase in the last 7 years. With release of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, we see poverty rates are on the rise. If poverty rates continue to increase in 2016, there will be fewer staff to respond.
  • Employment supports are more critical than ever. The number of OW clients placed in jobs and referrals to employment programs has significantly dropped year over year. Through September, OW clients placed in jobs are down 29% from the same period last year. An increasing number of people on OW are more distant from the labour market, and require more intensive supports to transition to employment where lengthy times on social assistance result from lack of good employment opportunities.
  • An increase of 66 temporary positions for a cost of $5.463 million gross and $0 net, 100% funded by the Ontario Works reserve are required to maintain service levels due to operational challenges with the Social Assistance Management System (SAMS).
  • The 2016 Poverty Reduction Strategy Annual Work plan included one enhanced initiative for TESS, to continue the Employment Program for Single Parents and to pilot additional supports for PAYE (notably to non OW participants), increase incentives to support Job Incentive Program (JIP) participants and provide enhanced dental service to OW recipients. Cost is $300,000 gross as part of the new/enhanced funding request.

For a detailed list of which new and enhanced services the Mayor has supported and which ones he is abandoning, see our discussion here.

For more details, visit the Toronto Employment and Social Services budget page


Toronto Paramedic Services – net reduction of 8.0 positions for a 2016 cost decrease of $0.830 million gross and $0 net and a 2016 cost of $3.008 million gross and $1.320 million net.

  • TPS continues to experience a 4% annual increase in emergency call volumes due to a growing and aging population, while at the same time, continuing to experience a shortfall in provincial subsidy funding for the Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC) that handles calls.
  • Additional provincial funding of $2.034 million in 2017 mainly reflects the provincial share of 50% for the annualized salaries and benefits of 58 permanent positions (approved in 2015 with funding for 4 months) in 2016.
  • Reduction in Overtime Funding – TPS implemented several initiatives to reduce overtime without impacting front-line service delivery. These initiatives include shift scheduling changes to better match staffing to call demand; hiring of part-time paramedics; hourly monitoring of call demand especially on weekdays to minimize overtime call-in, etc.
  • New Emergency Medical Dispatcher shift schedules that were implemented in February 2014, to better match staffing with emergency call demand, by shifting more staff to weekends and to higher peak demand times during the day (Operating Budget: 31).
  • Time and Attendance & Scheduling System (TASS): Several new initiatives are being pursued by TPS to support critical needs while improving operations. TASS is a new scheduling system (IT Platform) to address the complex scheduling requirements required to support the critical operations of TPS and the unique work scheduling needs. It will eventually be expanded and used by other City Divisions. It requires a large volume of remote mobile access (i.e., from home) to staff, such that, staff might be readily scheduled and informed of work assignments.

For more details, visit the Toronto Paramedic Services budget page


 
 
 

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