May 14, 2021
Following LSNYC management’s demand that staff return to working from LSNYC offices in July, our union invited LSNYC management to attend an open forum to explain their demand to union members and listen to union members’ responses. LSNYC senior management agreed to attend if they could invite LSNYC managers as well. Since the beginning of the pandemic, LSNYC management had not held any all-staff forums, so our union-initiated event was effectively the first all-staff meeting since Covid hit.
Turnout was tremendous—about 300 union members, plus a significant number of middle managers—and demonstrated that our union takes COVID-related issues seriously and will not settle for vague answers and excuses.
It was clear from today’s forum and from feedback we have received consistently from members that any return-to-office plan must, at minimum, be voluntary; must include mandatory inspections and signoffs by the Microecologies health and safety experts before offices reopen; account for the needs of staff who are parents and/or have vulnerable household members; protect the safety of AAPI staff and all who belong to marginalized groups; lay out procedures for compliance with policies such as occupancy and PPE usage; support the physical and mental health of LSNYC’s staff and clients, and acknowledge the loss and trauma that we, our clients, and our communities have suffered; and recognize the professionalism and dedication of everyone in this union.