Bend Park and Recreation District temporarily eliminates positions
March 30, 2020
Positions planned to be restored as soon as possible
The Bend Park and Recreation District has notified a significant portion of its part-time staff that their positions have been temporarily eliminated. The pandemic-related closure of facilities and cancellation of programs halted services severely and positions are not needed at this time.
Laid off employees will receive a full paycheck for March, payment for any unused accrued vacation time, plus an additional severance payment for scheduled hours through April 20. The district is also paying for benefits through April for benefited part-time employees who are laid off. The severance compensation is intended to provide cash quickly to assist individuals and to provide flexibility for them to plan ahead. They are also being encourage to pursue unemployment benefits opportunities.
“The district values each and every staff member because each person delivers quality programs and services, and this is not in any way a reflection of service or dedication as employees whose positions were eliminated,” said Don Horton, Executive Director. “This step is necessary because of the pandemic’s extraordinary and lightning-speed impacts to our programs and services.”
The district continues to employ all full-time staff and part-time staff who are fulfilling essential functions including custodial, park services operations, recreation program support and administrative functions.
Parks and trails remain open for public use with advisement to practice social distancing and personal hygiene practices. Playgrounds, skateparks and sport courts are closed. Additionally, recreation programs including fitness classes are occurring online and outreach is underway to check in on patrons by phone and email.
The district has suspended hiring efforts, including for upcoming seasonal activities. In addition, bids for planned construction and renovation projects are on hold.
“When this pandemic is over, we want to be in the best position possible to welcome staff back and resume delivery of programs and services,” added Horton. “When it’s time to resume programs and services, laid off staff will be our first calls.”