Orillia vows that critical services will continue despite a strike by dozens of city employees.

Fifty-eight members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 636 working in areas like water, waste diversion, and road winter maintenance hit the picket lines at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The union felt it had no choice but to reject what it characterizes as an "abysmal" offer from the city.

Mayor Steve Clarke says Orillia is re-deploying some staff and using outside contractors to continue delivering core services through the work stoppage.

"We've had some outreach from some community partners that have volunteered to help out if necessary," Clarke told CTV. "

"I'm really quite proud of how it's all come together. We don't really want to be in this situation, of course. But the critical services are being continued."

Clarke would not comment on IBEW's claim that Orillia its members are not getting equal treatment to the city's non-unionized employees and employees of neighbouring municipalities.