rdos building

Two managers have been laid off and more cuts are being considered as the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to the long-term economic impact of COVID-19, the regional district has flattened our organizational structure by eliminating two general manager positions,” chief administrative officer Bill Newell said in a statement Monday.

“RDOS department managers are now reviewing their 2020 business plans to determine if there are positions or projects that have been affected by the pandemic that may require a short-term adjustment. We expect to have a report ready for the RDOS board at their April 16 meeting.”

The two departments that lost their general managers are public works and developments services. Workers in some part-time positions at the Similkameen Recreation Centre were also laid off.

Newell said the RDOS is focusing on providing essential services, meeting operational demands and supporting staff, while also co-ordinating with its six member municipalities, some of which, like Penticton, have made more dramatic cuts.

“The RDOS and our six member municipalities are each very different organizations, coming from different starting points and our response to COVID-19 will evidence that,” noted Newell.

The City of Penticton has laid off approximately 20% of its workforce, most from the recreation department, which is unable to offer any programming due to facilities closures.