MEA Testimony on Int. 0877-2023 Version A

(L to R) Alice WongExecutive Director MEA, and Darrell L. SimsPresident MEA

Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring an exit interview for departing and retiring municipal employees. This bill would require the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), in consultation with the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CHR), to create an exit survey designed to gather feedback from resigning and retiring municipal employees in regard to their experience in the civil service. Exit surveys would be administered by the employing agency on or before the employee’s last day of employment, and the responses to such surveys would be provided to DCAS. Beginning March 30, 2024, and annually thereafter, DCAS would be required to submit a report to CHR and the Speaker regarding resigning and retiring employees and the responses received in exit surveys.

Good morning, Madam Chair Carmen De La Rosa, Committee Members and all attendees,

I am Darrell Sims, R.A., President of the New York City Managerial Employees Association (MEA) and with me is Alice Wong, the Executive Director of the MEA.  We would like to thank the Committee for providing us with the opportunity to testify on behalf of the 16,000 NYC managerial and confidential employees which include MEA members.

After a 39-year tenure working at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and completion of the HPD Retiree Exit Interview Questionnaire, I retired on January 1, 2020.  Elected as MEA President, I commenced my term on January 1, 2022.  Based on my experience and from information expressed to me by the Executive Board and our members, the MEA supports Intro 0877-2023 Version A which requires exit surveys for resigning and retiring City agency employees.

An exit survey would provide a forum for resigning and retiring employees to uninhibitedly express their perspectives and opinions regarding their employment at a particular agency.  Adverse actions, unfair treatment and discrimination complaints could be revealed and detailed by departing employees in these surveys without the threat of repercussions and retaliation by supervisors and/or agencies.  Information from exit surveys could be used by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and the Commission on Human Rights to address detrimental actions and adversarial circumstances that have affected departing employees.

Additionally, positive and favorable employee remarks regarding particular subject matter in exit surveys could be shared through DCAS with agencies as examples to take into consideration for improving policies, operations and workplace conditions.  It is anticipated that exit surveys will serve to identify conditions that require upgrades and improvements to make City government more attractive for those seeking employment and at the same time to enhance the work-life experience for the retention of the existing workforce.

Respectfully submitted,

Darrell L. Sims                                          Alice Wong
President                                                  Executive Director