Philadelphia Mayor Ending Remote Work Policy For All Full-Time City Employees

The city of Philadelphia is putting an end to its COVID era remote work policy and requiring all full-time city employees to return to the office five days a week this summer.

Mayor Cherelle Parker announced on Monday that employees will begin working in-office again on July 15 to create a “more visible and accessible government.” The decision comes after nearly three years of a virtual work policy that was put in place at the height of the pandemic.

“Employee presence at the workplace allows for more personal and productive interactions,” Parker said in her announcement. “It facilitates communication. It promotes social connections as well as collaboration, innovation and inclusion.”

80% of the city’s 26,000 employees have been working fully in person since last year, according to Parker, while the others have spent between 31 and 75 hours per-pay-period on site.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2187, the union representing many of the city’s professional and supervisory employees, said the mayor’s decision was unilaterally imposed rather than going through collective bargaining.

The group’s president, David Wilson, said in a statement Monday that the policy would make the municipal worker shortage the city has suffered since the pandemic even worse. He also argued that the change beginning over the summer will likely complicate schedules for parents, as children are out of school.

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