The Mayor Of Philadelphia Is Scrapping Remote Work Policy

( — Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker on Monday ordered all of the city’s employees to return to full-time, in-office work effective mid-July, putting an end to the city’s virtual work policy.

In a special press conference at City Hall Monday morning, Parker explained that because her administration seeks to create “a more visible and accessible government,” she had informed city workers that they would all be “transitioning to full-time, in-office work” by Monday, July 15.

The mayor explained that having workers in the office would allow for “more personal and productive interactions” by facilitating communication and promoting social connections, innovation, collaboration, and inclusion.

Parker said the order would also fulfill her promise to create an “accessible workforce” to serve Philadelphia residents.

The mayor’s order requires all city work to be done on-site and puts an end to the city’s pandemic-era virtual work policy that was enacted in 2021.

To meet the July 15 deadline, the mayor said her administration was working with city managers to prepare adequate office space and equipment for the returning employees.

The City of Philadelphia employs roughly 25,000 people. According to the mayor, only 80 percent of the city’s workforce has been working full-time on-site, while the remaining 20 percent only worked on-site between 31 and 75 hours per pay period.

When asked why no public sector unions were represented at Monday’s press conference, the mayor conceded that the union presidents had not “embraced” the order.

In a statement following the press conference, AFSCME Local 2187 president David Wilson said the municipal workers’ union was “disheartened” by Parker’s decision to “unilaterally implement” the order. Wilson suggested that such an order should have been addressed in collective bargaining with the union.

Wilson claimed that the mayor’s decision to require workers to show up five days a week would harm union members and their families. He accused Mayor Parker of not caring for the city’s workforce.

Earlier in the year, the mayor ordered senior city staff to return to full-time, in-office work starting on March 4.

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