Working and providing services for you - the residents of Thunder Bay. 

As we continue to face the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, City of Thunder Bay employees are working on the front lines and behind the scenes trying to navigate the ever-changing work environment to ensure that essential City services continue to operate.

It has been a challenging time for many to learn and implement new safety precautions, navigate new work environments, all while managing family and personal needs, including mental health.

It has been a difficult time for everyone. It is important to recognize and highlight the great work City employees are doing and to let them know they are appreciated.


Feature employee spotlight: Tammy Mastalerz

 

 

Tammy Mastalerz is the Supervisor, Supply Management (Inventory & Courier) and she has been with the City for a year.

 

What do you like most about your job?

I am fortunate to be part of a really great team who has worked so hard these last few months. There is always something keeping me on my toes. It is very rewarding to be providing support to frontline staff.

 

What is it like being the Supervisor, Supply Management during this time?

It is very busy, with heavy focus on trying to source, store, and distribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). At the beginning, it was very hectic as none of the equipment we needed could be found anywhere. Literally all of us were on the phone trying to locate PPE. Now, hand sanitizer is bought in bulk. It comes in liquid form, in 20-litre pails and needs to be decanted, meaning we had to source spray bottles which there wasn’t a great supply of locally. There is also a need for us to make PPE kits for staff. For example, Lifeguards are issued bags with a face shield, mask, gown, and sanitizer.

 

Are there any special protocols in place to keep you safe on the job? Mainly social distancing, handwashing, sanitizing, and regular cleaning of touch surfaces like counters and doorknobs. The counters at our City Stores also have Plexiglas barriers. When accepting deliveries, we screen, and continue with physical distancing and proper handwashing after deliveries. Suppliers are not requiring signatures on deliveries, so we don’t have to handle paperwork. We also do more regular cleaning of our courier vehicles.

 

Are you noticing an increase in amount of work?

Absolutely. In addition to the regular ongoing procurement needs across City departments, there is more work associated with the pandemic. Suppliers have to be contacted regularly to check availability, and we are working directly with City departments to source the PPE that they need. The items we are sourcing aren’t normally stocked, and we are ordering in huge volumes.

 

What should people do to help keep you and your colleagues safe? With any deliveries to us, or from our couriers, please maintain physical distancing. The same is true of City staff coming to pickup PPE. And we appreciate as much notice as possible for PPE requirements.

 

Is there any silver lining to working during this difficult time?

The pandemic has definitely shown that Thunder Bay is a resilient community, and we have pulled together to help each other out. We have demonstrated our ability to help flatten the curve, particularly when you look at the numbers for Thunder Bay.

 

Have you witnessed or heard of anything inspiring while working out in the community during this time? Seeing everyone working together is inspiring. When the pandemic first hit, we were receiving donations of gloves, masks, and other PPE from dentist offices, and places like tbaytel and Resolute. It is fantastic to see support for our frontline workers. It is inspiring when reading the news to see that this is still happening. Free masks and sanitizers are being donated from big business to small business.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you to all the frontline workers, including those behind the scenes such as mechanics, city courier, and storekeepers. 

 

 

 

Thank you City of Thunder Bay employees

In recognition of the dedicated work by all City of Thunder Bay employees during the pandemic, City Council and senior management would like to say thank you. Please watch this video message:

Watch: Dear City Employees - Thank you
City Employees Continue to Serve Residents During COVID-19

 

Past employee spotlights

 

 

 Jordyn Howie - Program Coordinator
 

 

Jordyn is a Program Coordinator for the Recreation & Culture Division’s Children & Youth programs and has worked at the City for eight years.

 

What do you like most about your job?

I love my job because I get to meet new people who share the same passions as me, and I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people.

 

What is it like being a Program Coordinator during this time?

Being a Program Coordinator during this time has been different as there are several new changes and accommodations that we’ve had to make to the program in order for it to be safe for children and staff. However, my team and I have worked together to make this summer happen and are happy we get to provide programming for children who have been away from their normal routine for so long.

 

Are there any special protocols in place to keep you safe on the job?

There are several protocols in place to keep us safe on the job. We have smaller groups, we practice social distancing, we have advanced cleaning protocols, we have modified activities to avoid coming into close contact with one another, and we have additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

 

Are you noticing an increase or change in amount of work?

Yes, there has been an increase as we need to implement and train staff members on new health and safety policies. We also need to be more creative in planning activities to ensure they are following these new policies.

 

Is there any silver lining to working during this difficult time?

We are bringing back some normalcy to children’s lives and providing them with the opportunity to play with others again.

 

Have you witnessed or heard of anything inspiring while working out in the community during this time?

I’ve seen program staff rise to the challenge of adapting to these new changes and finding a way to make programming enjoyable for the children while maintaining safety as a top priority. 

 Karen Nadeau - Leadhand/Curator

 

Karen Nadeau is a Leadhand/Curator – Conservatory, Parks & Open Spaces Section since 1988.

 

How long have you been employed at the City of Thunder Bay?

Since 1988

 

What do you like most about your job?

Surprisingly, I like to go out and weed—it's very relaxing! I also really enjoy working with my co-workers. We are an upbeat, tightknit group. We love when the planting season starts each year.

 

What is it like being the Conservatory Leadhand/Curator during this time?

Right now, it'svery busy! It's always hectic during planting season. However, with COVID-19, work had to start a month late and proceed as quickly as possible. 

 

Are there any special protocols in place to keep you safe on the job?

Yes. Our trucks now have plexiglass installed. We wear masks, and we try to keep our distance when working on flowerbeds. Since we are outdoors, physical distancing is easier for us than for some employees.

 

Are you noticing an increase in the amount of work?

Absolutely. We are running behind our usual schedule due to COVID-19. Right now we are hurrying to get the LID (Low Impact Development for stormwater management) beds in. The total planting area for Parks is 5,200 square metres. This year, we will be preparing beds at the Marina, in addition to our usual areas.

 

Is there any silver lining to working during this difficult time?

Everyone is in this together, at work and at home. I've found that I have become more patient. At home, my family has grown closer—we've turned off the TV and taken the next steps together.

 

Have you witnessed or heard of anything inspiring while working out in the community during this time?

So many things have happened during this season! For instance, last week a woman lost her wallet at one of the parks where we were working. A resident found it and turned it in to Thunder Bay Police. The woman returned to look for it and learned that it was turned in. Later she came back with orange juice for the workers. People appreciate our work more during these times and are enjoying our parks more often.

 Leanne Lavoie - Committee Coordinator

Leanne Lavoie is a Committee Coordinator with the Office of the City Clerk and has worked at the City for four years.

 

 

What do you like most about your job?

I always describe the Office of the City Clerk as the nucleus of the Corporation. We work closely with City Council and Administration from every Department. I get to play a supporting role in the good work they do. I love being in the room for Council meetings. I have a front row seat to all the action, and I think that’s pretty cool. 

 

What is it like being a Committee Coordinator during this time? How has the job changed?

To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, we were given very clear direction: If we are able to work from home, we must. The City’s IT experts have set the Clerks staff up well with access to everything we need to build agendas, write minutes, communicate with colleagues and attend meetings remotely, via our laptops. I spend about 75% of my workdays working from home. I go into the office only for City Council meetings or to print and organize agendas. 

 

Are there any special protocols in place to keep you safe on the job?

City Hall is still closed to the public. We limit the number of people in our office to a maximum of five. Regularly touched surfaces, such as door knobs and the photocopier, are wiped down frequently. We are careful to keep our distance from each other, and we wash our hands or use hand sanitizer several times each day.

 

Are you noticing an increase in amount of work?

Our workload has definitely increased. Some of the Committee Coordinators were reassigned to support the Emergency Response Team and others took on additional Council meetings. Switching to virtual City Council meetings has also created a great deal of extra work for our office. We are resilient, though, and have been supporting each other throughout the State of Emergency.

 

Is there any silver lining to working during this difficult time?

I think COVID-19 has forced us all to slow down and remember what is truly important: Our health, our families, and taking care of each other in our community. 

 

Have you witnessed or heard of anything inspiring while working out in the community during this time?

I’ve been impressed by the way local small businesses and other organizations have adapted their services and events, like car-hop service at Bay Village Coffee, drive-by drag during Pride Month, and our City’s reimagining of Live on the Waterfront as Virtual Live. Thunder Bay is full of passionate, positive people with creative ideas to make our City better for everyone, even during a pandemic. 

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I want everyone to know how supportive our senior management team is. The City Manager sends weekly emails to all staff, keeping us up to date, thanking us for our dedication and reminding us to take care of ourselves. My direct supervisor, the City Clerk, as well as the Deputy Clerk, consistently check-in to offer support and make sure we’re doing ok. It has been a strange time, working away from my Clerks’ family, but I have never felt alone. 

 

Dona-Lee Robinson - Animal Services Law Enforcement Officer