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Town of Petrolia

May 22, 201822 May 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by council for the Town of Petrolia under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that the municipality was permitted to discuss a proposal respecting its community centre in camera because all employees of the centre were to be terminated as part of the proposal. Generally, the labour relations exception does not apply to discussions relating to an organizational review or restructuring by a municipality. However, the exception may apply to a discussion relating to reorganization as it affects individuals and their roles. While no individual employees were identified during the meeting by name or position, the portion of discussion about employees applied to every employee of the community centre.

Town of Georgina

November 23, 201723 November 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Georgina to discuss an organizational review of certain departments within the municipality’s administration as part of a larger service delivery review. The meeting was closed using the personal matters exception. While in camera, council discussed the performance of particular employees in relation to the restructuring options contained in a staff report. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.

Town of Georgina

November 23, 201723 November 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Georgina to discuss an organizational review of certain departments within the municipality’s administration as part of a larger service delivery review. While in camera, council discussed the performance of particular employees in relation to the restructuring options contained in a staff report. While not cited by the municipality, the Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the labour relations exception.

City of Sault Ste. Marie

August 02, 201602 August 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Sault Ste. Marie to discuss a proposed plan to realign fire services and EMS. The meeting was closed under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. During the closed session, the fire chief gave a presentation to council that covered the effect of the realignment on the local union, as well as a number of other repercussions. The Ombudsman found that the portion of council’s discussion about the local firefighters’ union fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that other topics covered in the presentation, such as risk management, effect on service levels, and financial savings generally do not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. However, the Ombudsman found that those topics were not discrete and were included to inform council’s discussion about labour relations and were not required to be parsed from the discussion. Therefore, council’s discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

City of Sault Ste. Marie

August 02, 201602 August 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Sault Ste. Marie to discuss a proposed plan to realign fire services and EMS. The meeting was closed under the labour relations and employee negotiations exception. During the closed session, the fire chief gave a presentation to council that covered the effects of the realignment on the local union, and a number of other repercussions. The Ombudsman found that the portion of council’s discussion about the local firefighters’ union fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that other topics covered in the presentation, such as risk management, effects on service levels, and financial savings generally do not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. However, the Ombudsman found that those topics were not discrete and were included to inform council’s discussion about labour relations, and were not required to be parsed from the discussion. Therefore, council’s discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

Village of Casselman

January 29, 201629 January 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Village of Casselman to discuss a municipal organizational chart, individual staff positions, and staff restructuring. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. The Ombudsman found that the discussion about salary ranges for management positions on its own did not fit within the exception; however, in this case the discussion of salary ranges was related to the broader discussion of individual staff positions. Therefore, the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.

Armour Township and Village of Burk’s Falls

October 28, 201528 October 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a joint closed meeting held by council for the Village of Burk’s Falls and council for Armour Township to discuss possible amalgamation of the two municipalities. While not cited by either municipality, the Ombudsman found that a portion of the discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiation exception because the councils were discussing position changes for identified employees.

Village of Burk’s Falls and Armour Township

October 28, 201528 October 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a joint closed meeting held by council for the Village of Burk’s Falls and council for Armour Township to discuss possible amalgamation of the two municipalities. While not cited by either municipality, the Ombudsman found that a portion of the discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiation exception because the councils were discussing position changes for identified employees.

Municipality of South Huron

March 02, 201502 March 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of South Huron that relied on the personal matters exception to discuss a number of staffing issues. The discussion included issues of staff performance reviews, reorganization, staff conduct, discipline, and the salaries of specific employees. The Ombudsman found that these matters are considered personal information for the purposes of the Municipal Act, 2001 and therefore they fit within the personal matters exception.

Municipality of Whitestone

November 18, 201418 November 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Whitestone to discuss an organizational review. The closed meeting relied on the personal matters exception. Council’s discussion included specific information about the performance of identifiable individual employees and the retirement of two employees. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the personal matters exception because it related to the performance of identifiable individual employees.

City of Welland

November 18, 201418 November 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Welland that relied on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception to discuss a shared services proposal with the public library. Council discussed staffing changes, workload, and the roles of particular employees. The labour relations or employee negotiations exception refers to the collective relationship between an employer and its employees. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

Municipality of Whitestone

November 18, 201418 November 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Whitestone to discuss an organizational review.  Council’s discussion included specific information about the performance of identified staff members and the retirement of two staff members. While not relied upon by the municipality, the Ombudsman found that council’s discussion about the performance of identified employees fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

Town of Amherstburg

December 09, 201309 December 2013

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held in an emergency session by council for the Town of Amherstburg to discuss staff retention and reorganization. The meeting was closed under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. Council’s discussion included the effect of staff retention and reorganization on individual staff members and their roles. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

Town of Amherstburg

September 12, 201312 September 2013

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg to discuss an organizational review of the municipality’s staff. The meeting was closed under the labour relations and employee negotiations exception. During the closed session meeting, a consultant presented a report to council on the roles and responsibilities of staff members and information on how the findings would affect both unionized and non-unionized staff. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the cited exception. General discussions regarding a municipal organization chart and various staff positions would not fit within the labour relations and employee negotiations exception. However, the Ombudsman found in this case that the information was for background and context for the labour relations discussions.