Philadelphia city employees must work on-site 5 days per week starting this summer

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Mayor Cherelle Parker orders Philadelphia city employees to return on-site work 5 days per week
Mayor Cherelle Parker has mandated that all city employees will report to the office five days a week starting July 15.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Mayor Cherelle Parker has mandated that all Philadelphia city employees will report to the office five days a week starting July 15.

Parker made the announcement during a news conference on Monday morning.

She stated that this decision aims to enhance personal productivity and encourage social connections.

Parker says the move goes along with her commitment to creating an accessible workforce for the residents of Philadelphia.

"Our workforce is the only way that Philadelphia truly becomes what I promised to the people, that is the safest, cleanest and greenest big city in America with access to equal opportunity for all," Parker said.

Parker said the new policy establishes that occasional remote work will be permitted to address "periodic life circumstances."

The mayor also announced the following changes for all permanent full-time, part-time and provisional employees:

-'Just in time' emergency care needs for child and elder care

-Increased paid parental leave

-Relaxation of restrictions on the use of sick leave for family members

-Designation of the Friday after Thanksgiving as a holiday

Parker said in 2023 approximately 80% of the city's workforce worked fully on-site. Of the remaining 20%, city employees worked approximately 31 of 75 hours per pay period on-site.

Parker said that having the remaining 20% back in the office improves everyone's productivity.

"If facilitates communication. It promotes social connections. Along with collaboration, innovation, and inclusion," she said.

But officials from the union that represents many of the remaining 20% hybrid workforce say: Not so fast.

David Wilson, president AFSCME District Council 47 Local 2187, says his members' productivity has not diminished under the hybrid system and Mayor Parker's decision came with little notice.

He said the way it was handled is unfair.

"It took us all by surprise to have a unilateral implementation that's going to cause such a negative impact on my members," he said.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for people who are happy about the announcement, look no further than the eateries near City Hall which rely on heavy foot traffic to stay in business.

"We're talking about maybe $3,000 a week worth of difference. We're barely holding on and we need their help to come back to work," said Darren Hinman, the manager of Express Breakfast and Lunch.

Local 2187 says it has a meeting with Parker on Thursday, saying it will fight the initiative.

All senior officials returned to full-time in-office work in March.