Hawkesbury council is holding off on considering a dress code for municipal employees.
Mayor Paula Assaly had issued a notice of motion at the May 27 council meeting to have staff examine the development of a dress code, using the one the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) has for its employees as a guideline.
At the June 10 council meeting, Assaly emphasized that a code for the town would be simply intended to indicate what is acceptable for employees to wear at work.
The UCPR code also mandates personal protective equipment for employees wherever necessary and gives discretion to department heads to determine what is acceptable.
Councillor Antonios Tsourounakis questioned if implementing a code could affect current contract negotiations between the town and unionized employees.
Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Gatien said there has been talk of “why now?” among staff with respect to the possibility of a dress code being implemented.
Gatien said the dress code does not specifically stop him from negotiating, but it is a concern for employees.
Tsourounakis surmised that consideration of the dress code could be tabled until after negotiations are complete, or that notice could be given to employees that the code is only at the development stage and not complete.
Assaly said it is unfortunate there is “malaise” among employees and emphasized she is not trying to impose anything on employees.
The mayor said she was prepared to defer further discussion on the development of a municipal dress code until a later date.
Council decided to defer the matter until November.
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