The Comox Valley Regional District is laying off some United Steelworker members in response to COVID-19.

The district says after carefully considering all of its options, it 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 Lifeguards and Swim Instructors.

Positions not affected include the USW Facility Maintenance Workers.

Layoff notices will take effect Monday and the CVRD has agreed to pay wages for the next 30 days as per the collective agreement.

The district says the benefits of this approach include allowing enough time to adjust and prepare for employment insurance and giving enough time for any new initiatives announced by the provincial or federal governments.

The CVRD will continue to pay both employer and employees a 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.