Laid off Lambton cultural staff bolstering required services

Lambton County administration building on Broadway St in Wyoming. (Photo by Colin Gowdy, Blackburn News)

Some Lambton County employees, laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, are heading back to work in new roles.

Cultural Services Division General Manager Andrew Meyer said in response to the ongoing public health effort to slow the spread of the virus, county operated cultural facilities that were scheduled to reopen April 6 will remain closed indefinitely.

“The layoff involved 124 staff across the cultural services division,” said Meyer. “That includes our 25 library locations, our three museum sites and the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery. That’s full time, part time and casual staff.”

But, Meyer said impacted employees were offered the option of being redeployed to support other required services.

“We have had some staff redeployed to support Lambton Public Health with their increased communication efforts, we have staff that are assisting Lambton EMS with some inventory of personal protective equipment at each of their nine EMS stations and we have staff that have elected to be redeployed to long term care to support some of the screening efforts at the three long term care homes.”

He said they’re actively looking to support other areas.

“With that reality of prolonged closure we had to look at the options regarding staff and we’re certainly eager to support the other divisions that remain required services to support our community and we’re very proud of the staff that have come forward to assist.”

While reopening timelines are hard to predict, Meyer is looking forward to welcoming staff and patrons back to Lambton’s cultural facilities as soon as it is deemed safe to resume normal operations.