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Local 79’s 2016 City Budget Guide – Staffing (Cluster B)

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 B (click on a Division to jump to it)

City Planning

  • Addition of $0.042 million for 1 Project Coordinator for S.37 Provincial reporting requirements (Bill 73).
  • 8 new positions approved in 2015 will cost a new addition of $0.375 million (annualized impact).
  • The Policy and Growth Management Committee and Chief Planner, asked the Budget Committee to not include gapping as a target in the City Planning Budget. Planning does not think gapping beyond turnover rates should be included as an indicator for cost savings in their Division’s budget. The Division indicated that eliminating gapping would make no difference in its ability to deliver services. Rather, natural turnover would result in year-end savings.

Notes from Social Planning Toronto, January 18, 2016

  • “During the budget presentations the Chief Planner spoke about the importance of inclusionary zoning to increase affordable housing in Toronto; despite years of requests to the Province, the Ontario government has not given the City of Toronto or other municipalities the power to enact inclusionary zoning policies; under IZ, cities could require that developers include affordable housing in new residential developments.”

For more details, visit the City Planning budget page

Engineering & Construction Services – net increase of 15.0 positions for a total cost increase of $1.622 million gross and $0 million net.

  • New/Enhanced service request of $1.622 million gross and $0 net for work performed by Metrolinx, Bell Smart City, and Gardiner Rehabilitation.
  • Even at a full staff complement, Divisional demands are difficult to accommodate. ECS continues to claim difficulties in hiring skilled professional and technical staff due to the competitive market conditions in the GTA, but indicate they will continue an aggressive recruitment campaign.
  • Given the projected increase in the City’s capital programs for municipal infrastructure projects delivered by ECS, the Program proposes to increase the use of outside professional engineering services to meet the forecasted demand. At the same time, ECS has reported it will save 5.9% by reducing reliance on external engineering services (Operating Budget:9). It does not state which contracts, specifically, will not be renewed.
  • 11 new seasonal positions for Construction Inspectors to ease traffic disruption.
  • Increased Work due to the Bell Smart City Project to include 7 temporary
  • New section to support Gardiner Strategic Rehabilitation Plan Implementation, to include 6 permanent positions fully funded via capital recovery from Transportation Services.
  • Last year, the Division cancelled 22 tenders with a total value of $92.4 million, representing 110 individual sites, because the low bids were well in excess of capital budget and original cost estimate. This is reflective of the high cost of contracting out.
  • New funding request for increased overtime costs of $0.387 million for existing staff to accommodate extended hours for capital projects, mainly in Municipal Infrastructure Construction.

For more details, visit the Engineering and Construction Services budget page

Municipal Licensing & Standards –

  • Salary and benefit changes: $0.247 million for non-union progression pay, union step increases and fringe benefits; AND funding $0.096 million for 2 Municipal Standards Officers (implemented June 2015) to improve MRAB re-inspection.
  • Council decision would require implementation of 10 new staff positions, which are not in the budget but requested as part of New/ Enhanced services. Program would require a cost estimate of $1.8 million in annual funding to include ($1.082 million for 10 new dedicated staff; $0.368 for facilities and non-labour expense; and $0.350 for consultants).
  • There is a projected 10% increase in non-emergency property standards inspections and enforcement. An increased workload along with higher complexity of complaints, coupled with staff vacancies/ absences has resulted in decrease in response times.

Notes from Social Planning Toronto, January 18, 2016

  • Municipal Licensing and Standards plans to increase its public education work in support of tenant rights; not sure if there is new money for this or if it will use its existing resources to do it.
  • MLS will bring forward a report on rooming houses this year; presently, rooming houses are illegal in large parts of the city; recently, people living in an illegal rooming house in Scarborough died in a fire; new rules are needed to permit rooming houses throughout the city and resources to ensure compliance with safety regulations.

For more details, visit the Municipal Licensing & Standards budget page

Policy, Planning, Finance & Administration –

  • Identified as a key priority the need to “Attract and retain skilled staff to improve service delivery – fill vacant positions, focus on staff training, opportunities to cross-train staff” (Operating Budget:3).
  • In 2015, PPFA saved $500,000 on staffing from the automation of routine tasks (Operating Budget: 27).
  • 3 positions in Financial Management and Program Support were transferred to Toronto Water (Operating Budget: 8).
  • 2016 Service Deliverables:
    • “Enhance emergency staffing levels and training at Emergency Operation Centre and Emergency reception centres” (Operating Budget: 2).
    • “Improve public outreach to vulnerable segments of the population and public education on the importance of personal emergency preparedness” (Operating Budget: 2).

For more details, visit the Policy, Planning, Finance & Administration budget page

 Toronto Building – net increase of 8.0 positions resulting in cost increase of $0.560 million gross and $0 net.

  • The 2016 Budget includes funding of $0.450 million gross to implement a coordination unit, comprised of 0 new permanent positions that will enforce standards for infill construction across the City.
  • New funding of $0.250 million gross for the purchase of 7 new vehicles to be used in the Toronto and East York District to complement the current use of fleet vehicles being utilized.
  • With the Program actively filling vacant positions, it is anticipated that in 2016 and future years, Toronto Building will meet service levels (Operating Budget: 2), with a hiring plan on track to maintain gapping below 5% (Operating Budget: 26).

For more details, visit the Toronto Building budget page

Toronto Water

  • Toronto Water is self-sustaining and does not rely on the property tax levy.
  • Council has approved an 8% water and wastewater rate increase in 2016 (approximately $72 per household) that will generate $77.344 million in new revenue.
  • There is an unexplained deletion of 5 positions (Operating Budget: 7).
  • Toronto Water has indicated that they intend to follow the contracting out model established by Engineering & Construction Services, primarily, this means contracting out to meet peak/surplus demand. However, plans for contracting out are not reflected in the Operating Budget.

For more details, visit the Toronto Water budget page

Transportation Services – net increase of 5.7 positions for a total cost increase of $0.420 million gross and $0.409 million net.

  • Gapping will increase from 4.9% in 2015 to 6% in 2016 (Operating Budget: 10).
  • Demands for additional cycling infrastructure and cycling strategies continue to grow. 2 Project Managers and 2 positions are being added to create and implement a bicycle parking strategy.
  • Key issues for the Division include: management of traffic congestion, winter maintenance costs, and cycling infrastructure (Operating Budget: 3).

For more details, visit the Transportation Services budget page



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