Letter to the Editor (The Chief)
Treat Mgrs. Fairly in Crisis
- Apr 17, 2020 Updated Apr 17, 2020
To the Editor: The New York City Managerial Employees Association (MEA) and its members continue to stand with our agency managerial employees and government representatives during the coronavirus crisis to help all New Yorkers survive the pandemic in all its medical and financial manifestations. We stand with our fellow residents in applauding the incredible service of first-responders and other front-line workers who are fighting for all our safety and well-being.
Some managers, particularly in NYC Health+Hospitals, are directly serving people with COVID-19. These managers, who normally work in support areas, are serving meals to patients suffering from the virus.
There are other managers throughout the city who are also working directly with the public as part of their agency’s emergency mission. In particular, ACS, DHS, DOHMH and HRA have client populations who require the expertise and efforts of our managerial employees. Several managers in these agencies have cited their concerns regarding the lack of personal protective equipment, as well as sanitary settings, during the performance of their responsibilities with clients and other people.
Managers are just as susceptible as everyone else to infections. They also have families and others they live with. Some also have preexisting conditions and/or are over 50 years old. Yet, some agencies are ignoring these facts and are not allowing managers to work from home, while their staffs are allowed to do this. Some agencies are forcing some managers to work directly with infected populations even though they meet the CDC guidelines for at-risk people.
We do not have collective-bargaining contracts to define our working conditions, but this does not give any agency the right to directly threaten the health and safety of managerial employees in an arbitrary manner. Just as all union members working the front lines need PPE, so do the managers working beside them.
Again, we are in awe of the magnificent work being done to save lives and ameliorate the financial hardships facing our fellow New Yorkers. We thank everyone for their service and want everyone to have the wherewithal to endure the coming weeks.