Coronavirus Update New York City: NYC municipal workers fighting for option to remain remote

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Monday, May 3, 2021
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New York City municipal employees are fighting for the option to keep working remotely.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City municipal employees are fighting for the option to keep working remotely.

Demonstrators gathered at City Hall Saturday to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio's reopening plan.

He wants 80,000 government workers to return to the office Monday.

"We have been making all these decisions based on the data, based on the science with our healthcare team and what we learned in the schools and what we've learned, you know, anywhere public employees are working, is if you put the right health and safety measures in place, that's what matters," de Blasio said in a radio interview Friday.

Workers say the city is not ready for everyone to return. They fear open office spaces have not been properly set up with partitions, ventilation systems have not been updated, and parents will have issues finding childcare.

"Many childcare centers have not reopened after the pandemic shutdown, and many more, operating at reduced capacity, straining an already tight market for childcare," one protestor said Saturday.

Sen. Charles Schumer weighed in, calling on the MTA to increase subway hours so that workers, whether in the public or private sector, can get to their destinations quickly and safely.

"News flash: this is New York City people work at 2 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m. That's how we are," Schumer said.

According to a survey from the Partnership for New York City, only 10% of Manhattan office workers had returned to their desks by early March.

The city government is the largest employer in the five boroughs.

MORE NEWS: Special remembrance ceremony held for Queens residents who died of COVID

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