New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has said he will defy Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order for city workers to return to working in their offices.
Desperate to revive Manhattan’s ailing business districts, de Blasio ordered all city employees to begin working from their offices starting on Monday, the same day vaccine passport enforcement goes into effect.
In a series of tweets on Friday, Stringer slammed the mayor’s demand and said that he and his staff would continue working from home until at least next month, citing the Delta variant surge and saying productivity had not suffered during remote work.
‘Mr. Mayor, this is not the time for a ‘my way or the highway’ approach,’ Stringer wrote.
New York City’s controller has slammed Mayor de Blasio (above) over his mandate for all city workers to return to the office on Monday, and will refuse to comply
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer (above) has said he will defy Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order for city workers to return to working in their offices
‘We will be delaying a fuller return to the workplace until at least October 12, to give us more time to assess the situation on the ground and build out a program for hybrid work,’ the comptroller added.
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com after-hours on Friday.
The comptroller is an elected office in New York, one that Stringer has long used to launch broadsides at de Blasio in perennial, and unsuccessful, bids for the mayor’s office.
De Blasio has claimed that city workers have not performed well during remote work, although his critics accuse him of catering to Manhattan real estate moguls who are desperate for officer workers to return to the borough’s business districts.
‘We have not had a particularly stellar experience with remote employment,’ the mayor told WNYC-FM in an interview on Friday.
De Blasio said that remote working had ‘a huge impact, unfortunately in the wrong direction.’
An angry caller to the radio station who said she was a city worker furiously objected, saying: ‘You said we haven’t been effective working remotely, I really have to object to that.’
Office buildings, which make up the heart of midtown Manhattan, stand largely empty on March 04, 2021 in New York City. De Blasio is desperate to revive ailing business districts
Stringer disagreed however, saying that his staff had performed well during 18 months of largely working remotely.
‘Our office’s productivity has been maintained throughout the pandemic, and we want to expand on what has worked,’ Stringer tweeted.
‘It is a time to throw out the old playbook and recognize what many private sector companies already have—that productivity and remote work are not mutually exclusive,’ he added.
Stringer said that his primary concern was the health and safety of his staff.
‘The Delta variant remains a concern and our vaccination rates as a city are not yet where they should be. We are not though this yet,’ he wrote.
Stringer’s target date for returning to the office is in line with the October date for state workers set by Governor Kathy Hochul. Many private employers have also pushed back return dates, some until 2022.
A man moves furniture out of a building in midtown on August 30, 2021 in New York City. New York City depends economically on both tourists and office workers
De Blasio’s return-to-office initiative is part of the mayor’s strategy to revive the city’s economy while attempting to minimize the threat from the pandemic through vaccination.
He has ordered all city workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or tested weekly, and rolled out a vaccine passport scheme that requires proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter many businesses, including restaurants and bars.
Enforcement of the mayor’s passport mandate also takes effect on Monday, with businesses facing fines of up to $5,000 per violation.
Monday also marks the return of public school students to the classroom for the fall term.