While many organizations are bringing their employees back into the office after allowing remote work during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City is taking a hybrid work approach.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed that the city is now piloting a flexible work program that would allow city employees to work remotely two days a week. The pilot is being done in partnership between the mayor’s office and District Council 37 (DC 37), New York City’s largest public employee union that represents 150,000 members.

“As we make this shift into a post-pandemic reality for offices, we must do it in a thoughtful way in partnership with our union leaders,” said Mayor Adams. “I have always said that any flexible work programs the city offers must acknowledge the reality that there are some roles that cannot be performed remotely. This new pilot program will protect core services that New Yorkers rely on while offering city workers additional flexibility in their schedules. I thank DC 37 for their partnership through this process.”

According to the mayor’s office, the city and DC 37 have contractually agreed to establish a Work Flexibility Committee to discuss work flexibility and other measures to enhance employee morale and recruitment and retention.

“The world of work has changed, and this remote-hybrid pilot is one tool in our arsenal to provide a flexible workplace that still delivers the best services for New Yorkers,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Thank you to the members of the Flexible Work Committee, including our Local presidents and DC 37 staff, for conducting due diligence and representing the interests and varied needs of our membership. The committee will continue to review city agencies’ plans for implementing hybrid work along with compressed tours, flex time and other alternative schedules for those members whose job functions are not conducive to remote work.”

The city said it will work closely with DC 37 on implementation at the agency level. Adam’s office added that employee participation in the pilot is strictly voluntary.

“We heard DC 37 workers loud and clear over the course of our latest round of contract negotiations and agreed to establish a flexible work committee as part of the agreement,” said New York City Office of Labor Relations (OLR) Commissioner Renee Campion in a June 1 press release. “This pilot program we are launching today is a testament to our collaboration with DC 37, and we want to thank Henry Garrido and his team for their partnership.”

The program will run until May 31, 2025, and will be renewed for a year thereafter if both parties agree.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs