On Thursday May 21, 2009, the New York City Council held a hearing regarding lifting residency requirements for all City employees. The following is our testimony.
NYC Managerial Employees Association’s Testimony Regarding Changes to Residency Requirements for all New York City Employees
May 21, 2009
My name is Linda Barnes, and I am the Executive Director of the New York City Managerial Employees Association (MEA). I am testifying this morning on behalf of MEA’s President Stephen Ferrer who due to prior commitments could not attend this hearing.
MEA is a not for profit voluntary professional membership association, consisting of managerial and confidential employees of the City of New York and other public employers located in the City of New York, who are not eligible for collective bargaining under state and/or local law.
MEA’s purpose is to protect the civil service and other rights of its members including pension rights, the right to redress of grievances, the adoption of measures of adequate compensation and other benefits, that will help in the recruitment and retention of the best qualified persons for municipal management positions, and the obtaining of improvements in working conditions.
The vast majority of our members are career civil servants. Our members manage the delivery of water to more than 8 million City residents; are responsible for enforcement of the air, noise and hazardous materials laws and rules; ensure the safe and lawful use of over 950,000 buildings; protect New York City’s children from abuse and neglect; prevents homelessness; extend equally to all New Yorkers, regardless of their ability to pay, comprehensive health services of the highest quality; promote and protect the health of all New Yorkers; improve the availability, affordability and quality of housing in New York City; provides temporary help to individuals and families with social service and economic needs ; provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low and moderate income residents throughout the five boroughs; rehabilitate and maintain the City's infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, streets, sidewalks, and highways.
We applaud the Council for changing residency requirements for members of District Council 37, the very same employees who we manage and direct. It is not only fair that Managers receive the same consideration – it is good government. Imagine this scenario: a hard working and efficient non managerial employee is approached and asked to accept a promotion to an important managerial position. She accepts and then is told she must move back into the City. Her family is established in the City of Yonkers, she would have to sell her house, change her children’s school etc. Her choice might be to refuse the promotion and the City would lose a potentially effective Manager. That certainly would not be an example of good government.
Rank and file managers are not Deputy Mayors and Commissioners who earn six figure salaries. In fact, the median salary of MEA members is between $60,000 and $70,000 per year. The minimum salary is $50, 842 per annum. We are hundreds of ordinary citizens who make up the managerial ranks and provide the City with more than value for essential services. We should be given the choice of where we want to live and raise our families.
NYC Managerial Employees Association