Lawmakers hear from Local 768 members on the need for a fair and equitable policy
Since the beginning of this pandemic, Local 768/DC 37 members have continued to serve our fellow New Yorkers in a great time of need. Through this all, many of us were unnecessarily exposed to the virus by not getting the PPE we needed and were met with unhelpful guidance for keeping ourselves and our family safe. Meanwhile, municipal office workers adjusted to working from home for the first time out of the need to reduce the spread of Covid-19 citywide and keep those that needed to work in-person safer.
However, City leadership recently mandated a full return to the office while refusing to accommodate the flexibility workers need for childcare, vulnerable family members, and the enduring effects this pandemic has had on our communities. The City's attempt to return to a “normal” defined by full time in-person work rang less of operational necessity than a drive for commercial profits at the expense of worker’s safety and well-being. And we will not be used as political pawns any longer.
With the Omicron variant raging and the experience of thousands of NYC civil servants efficiently and safely providing services remotely, calls have never been more urgent for a permanent telework policy that works for us.
That is why on January 6, Local 768 joined together with City Workers for Justice to build support for the “NYC Teleworking Expansion Act” (S5536/A457). This state bill, sponsored by State Senator Leroy Comrie and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, will require all NYC agencies to establish a modern and permanent teleworking policies for its employees.
Thanks to everyone who participated, we made over 500 calls to legislators, and since then several more cosponsors have signed onto the bill! As we work to continue to build momentum for this bill across agencies, unions, and communities to make this a reality, we'd like you to be part of this!